MFD warns of changing weather after 12 Bamboo Forest hikers rescued

A section of the Bamboo Forest hike near the trailhead is pictured. The Maui News photo

Maui Fire Department reminded hikers to be aware of changing weather conditions a day after a dozen people, comprising visitors and residents, were rescued after being trapped by rising waters at East Maui’s Bamboo Forest trail area.

The department received a call at 4:26 p.m. from an initial group of six hikers who were trapped. Engine 2, Rescue 10 and Air 1 responded, according to MFD.

Bystanders at the trailhead told Engine 2 crew that different group of two hikers were missing. Another four hikers were found based on information from the initial group and from people in vehicles still parked at the area.

All hikers, who were prevented by high waters from returning to trails, were located via aerial search by Rescue 10 personnel aboard Air 1 and airlifted to safety by 6:32 p.m., the department said. No injuries were reported.

“The Maui Fire Department would like to remind hikers to be aware of the possibility of changing weather conditions any time they go hiking, and to plan and equip themselves accordingly,” said MFD acting information officer Chris Stankis. “While it may not be raining in the area you are hiking, rains at higher elevations may cause water levels in streams to rise quickly.”

Stankis said that if water levels rise, “stay put and wait for safer conditions” or call 911.

“Do not attempt to cross swollen, flooded streams or swift-moving water,” he added.


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