Two Maui wildfires 100 percent contained, mayor says Monday morning
Both the 9,000 acre wildfire that scorched Central Maui and north Kihei and the 200 acre fire in Puunene are now 100 percent contained, Maui Mayor Michael Victorino announced this morning.
Firefighters will continue mop-up work until the fires are declared extinguished according to a county news release. Crews will continuously monitor the burn areas and put out hotspots with a dedicated emergency callback crew throughout today.
“Words cannot express how relieved I am that there were no injuries or major property damage from what were dangerous, fast-moving fires that required evacuations and road closures,” Victorino said.
Central and South Maui air quality improved Monday morning, compared to late Sunday when windblown dust and ash enveloped Haleakala from Upcountry Maui to Kaupo and South Maui.
“We would like to ask the public to please stay out of all burned areas due to hazards sometimes not clearly visible,” said Fire Services Chief Rylan Yatsushiro. “Hazards such as hotspots and underground voids exist. These voids are caused by roots and root balls burning under ground level.”
Any fire flare-ups should be reported by calling emergency dispatchers at 911. So-called “smokers” in the middle of burn areas are a lower priority than those closer to fire perimeter areas. The fires may continue to smolder for a week.
The 9,000-acre Central/South Maui fire was first reported at 10:42 a.m. Thursday near the intersection of Kuihelani Highway and Waiko Road. It spread quickly south and east, jumping Kuihelani and Maui Veterans highways to north Kihei.
The 200-acre fire first reported at 1:30 p.m. Friday began in the vicinity of the new Safeway and Lowe’s in Kahului.
Police have classified that fire as an arson case.
Police are looking for a “possibly maroon-colored Ford dually-type truck,” an early- to mid-2000s model with racks, that was seen leaving the Hookele Street fire area Friday. Anyone with information on the driver of the vehicle should email email@example.com or message the Maui Police Department through its Facebook page. Or, call 244-6434 or 911 in an emergency.
Overall, Victorino said: “I’m also very thankful for the tremendous hard work by our firefighters, police, first responders, private contractors, emergency management staff, County of Maui department personnel, volunteers and everyone who helped protect and care for our residents and visitors. It was a great team effort, and another reason I’m proud to say Maui no ka oi.”