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Wet weather finally douses Kahoolawe fire

Fire crews could not battle blaze due to unexploded ordnance on island

The Maui News

The brush fire that began more than a week ago on Kahoolawe is “over” and the perimeter of the burn is secure, the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission said Monday, citing information from the Maui County Fire Department.

KIRC, the caretakers of the uninhabited former U.S. Navy bombing site, said the rain over the last few days “has been successful in putting out the fire.”

But fire officials reported seeing a few isolated logs still burning, KIRC said.

It is estimated that the total area burned is just under 9,000 acres, roughly a third of the island, KIRC said.

The fire began on Feb. 22 and unexploded ordnance hampered any type of firefighting operations.

Fire damage includes KIRC’s Squid storage facility, a bathroom with composting toilet and inoperable vehicles being used for spare parts.

Over the next few weeks KIRC said it will be getting a better understanding of the losses sustained and begin to develop a recovery plan to get back on track with its restoration efforts.

A fundraising website can be found at www.kindest.com/campaign/kahoolawe-brush-fire-emergency-response-fund.

Anyone with ideas on how to support the effort may send email to outreach@kirc.hawaii.gov.

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