Dry conditions, heat helping to fuel brush fires statewide

Local News

Brush fires have been keeping fire crews in all counties busy the past couple weeks. 

On Wednesday, there were brush fires on Kauai, Maui and on Oahu. 

The brush fire on Maui shut down Honoapiilani Highway near Maalaea. 

Over on Kauai, the fire re-igniting in Poipu, which caused the evacuation of nearby residents on Tuesday. 

The Honolulu Fire Department confirmed the brush fire in Ewa Beach Wednesday afternoon was intentionally set.

However, the Maui and Kauai fires remain under investigation. 

HFD Capt. Scot Seguirant says dry brush and hot conditions is fuel for brush fires. 

“If we have some kind of spark, it’s going to lead to a brush fire,” he said. 

Last week, there were four brush fires on Oahu in a single day. HFD determined three of them were intentionally set, but human error is a factor sometimes. 

“If you have some kind of campfire, if you’re in that kind of environment and you leave it unattended or you don’t put it out well enough it can trigger a fire,” he said. 

He said mainland wildfires can start from train sparks or lightning strikes.

“But locally here, we can have vehicle problems, a vehicle can spark and lead to a brush fire, even something as simple as parking over tall brush or grass and the catalytic converter can start on fire,” Capt. Seguirant said. 

And with these hot and dry conditions, once a fire starts, it spreads fast. 

“Last year we had that big fire in Waianae and Makaha, those were really big fires, but definitely there kind of seems to be an uptick a little right now,” he said. 

He encourages residents to prepare now with Fourth of July around the corner.

“By all means, fireworks are another cause of brush fires so if you’re going to be doing anything, do it safely so that you’re not going to be causing a brush fire that’s going to impact someone else’s home or even lives,” he said. 

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