Arson investigation opened after unscheduled cane fire on Maui

Local News

The Maui Police Department has opened an arson investigation after an unscheduled cane fire began burning in Pukalani Wednesday.

The Maui Fire Department said the initial call came in at 6:15 p.m. down slope of Ikea Place on Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company land.

Firefighters arrived to find about one acre of sugar cane on fire with flames moving quickly in the southwest direction away from homes.

The fire quickly grew to roughly 100 acres by 8:15 p.m.

According to Capt. Edward Taomoto, HC&S did not authorize or issue any burn Wednesday, nor did it start the fire.

“Reports that we got from HC&S was that it was unscheduled, it’s unplanned, it was not HC&S that started the fire,” said Taomoto.

The cause of the blaze is currently under investigation.

Anyone who saw anything suspicious is asked to call police dispatch at (808) 244-6400 or the Criminal Investigative Division at (808) 244-6425.

An engine and water tanker monitored the fire overnight in case there was a shift in wind direction and it became a threat to homes.

HC&S began its 143rd harvest season on March 16, 2015. Normally, when sugarcane is ready to be harvested, it is first burned to remove the leaves.

Per a schedule posted online, burns are scheduled April 9, 10 and 11.

Photo: Greg Pick

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