LAHAINA, Hawaii (KHON2) — Four campuses in the Lahaina area were closed Tuesday due to a fire in the Kaua’ula Valley. Maui officials said it was safe to reopen all schools Thursday.
The schools are: Lahainaluna High, Lahaina Intermediate, Princess Nāhi‘ena‘ena Elementary and King Kamehameha III Elementary.
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Maui County is now alerting residents in upper Launiupoko that there may be a possible evacuation as the fire is moving into the mountain ridges.
According to Maui Emergency Management Agency, there is no mandatory evacuation, but residents should know that they may be ordered to leave their homes later this afternoon.
Maui officials will announce a shelter location if and when it is opened.
Chief Rylan Yatsuhiro, of the Maui Fire Department, said that they estimated that 1,200 acres had burned. As of 11:20 a.m. the fire was 40% contained.
“That’s a rough estimate based on how much of the perimeter of that fire is secure. And so by no means are we out of the woods,” said Yatsuhiro. “If we have an unexpected wind shift or something like that, you know, even a 90% contained fire can break out.”
Yatsuhiro said that a lot of the area was inaccessible to ground vehicles and the support from helicopter water drops was significant.
The fire was initially reported around 11:40 a.m. on Tuesday.