HONOLULU (KHON2) — Maui officials said Wednesday that though weather conditions have improved, there are no changes in containment of the Lahaina, Pulehu and Upcountry fires that have been raging since Tuesday.
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On Tuesday, an emergency proclamation was issued in response to the fires and that proclamation was extended Wednesday morning.
The National Guard said they have deployed Chinooks that are actively assisting in fighting the fires. Guardsmen are also on Maui, assisting with traffic control, security, and search and rescue.
According to an early morning update on Wednesday, emergency services officials said they are treating three burn victims from Maui who have been sent to Oahu. More patients are expected to be flown out.
Active evacuations in effect for residents in these areas:
- Lahaina area: Wahikuli subdivision
- Kula area: Holopuni and Pulehu roads
- Subdivisions north and south of Lipoa Parkway down to Maui Meadows
- Kaanapali area: Kualapa Loop, Puu Anoano Street, Hakui Loop, Wekiu Place, Kaanapali Golf Estates
Kula residents, north of Ohukai Road, were allowed to return home Wednesday morning.
For those searching for loved ones, the American Red Cross is acting as a clearinghouse for reconnecting those who are missing. Anyone searching for loved ones is asked to call 1-800-RED-CROSS.
For those leaving Maui for Oahu, the convention center will be setup as a shelter for those that need the assistance.
For the latest visuals being sent in from Maui, click here.
- Mayor Hannibal Tavares Community Center — located in Pukalani
- Maui High School — located in Kahului
- Maui Preparatory Academy — located in Lahaina
- War Memorial Center — located in Wailuku
Lahaina Civic Center and Kihei Community Center were used as evacuation sites, however evacuees were moved to other shelters as a precautionary measure.
Maui County is reminding evacuees that shelters do not provide bedding, toiletries and personal care items.
As of Wednesday morning, more than 2,000 people sought services at shelters, according to the American Red Cross who is staffing the shelters.
Those wanting to assist by donating to shelters, may do so at War Memorial. It will be open for drop-offs Wednesday and Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Among the items being accepted are: non-perishable food, bottled water, hygiene items and blankets. Officials are asking that donations not be dropped off at fire stations.
The airport is also acting as a shelter for visitors who can’t get to their hotel. Acting Gov. Sylvia Luke told KHON2 that there are 2,000 sheltering in the airport.
Active road closures:
- No traffic, except emergency personnel, is being allowed into West Maui
- Honoapiilani Highway remains open outbound only — closed at Maalaea to Lahaina bound traffic
- Kahekili Highway closed at Waihee to Lahaina bound traffic
- Pulehu Road closed between Omaopio Road and Kula Highway
- Lahainaluna Road is closed between Honoapiilani Highway and the Lahaina Bypass
- Haleakala Highway between Kulalani Drive and Kualono Place and between Kula Highway and L. Kimo Drive
- Kealaloa Road is closed from Hanamu Road to Haleakala Highway
“One thing we want to make sure is that if you’re ordered to evacuate — evacuate, road closures are fast-moving depending on the necessity of it as our fire crews and our police officers deem necessary in both locations of upcountry and west Maui,” said spokesperson Mahina Martin.
She added residents should only evacuate when ordered to leave. If you are not in the immediate danger area, you’re asked to shelter in place.
Active school closures:
Due to unsafe conditions, all HIDOE public schools on Maui will be closed on Wednesday with the exception of Hana High and Elementary which will remain open.
According to the HIDEO, student boarders at Lahainaluna High School were transported to Maui High School Tuesday evening to be picked up by family members or on-island emergency contacts.
Kamehameha Schools Maui will also be closed due to the fire. Officials said “there is no immediate danger to the campus” but cited air quality as a deciding factor.
Suspended Maui bus and Human Service Transportation services:
- Lahaina Islander Route #20
- Lahaina Villager Route #23
- Kaanapali Islander Route #25
- West Maui Islander Route #28
- Maui Bus ADA Paratransit Service
- MEO Human Service Transportation trips to/from and within the West Maui
- All Maui Bus Commuter Services
Maui County said bus riders can check the Maui Bus app for the latest updates.
While all other bus services are planned to run as scheduled, commuters may experience delays.
Impacts on businesses:
Central Pacific Bank announced its Lahaina Branch will be closed on Wednesday. Bank of Hawaii’s Lahaina and Kahanu branches are closed until further notice. Central Pacific Bank closed their Lahaina and Kihei branches.
Kaiser Permanente clinics in Lahaina and Kihei are closed. Members will be contacted to reschedule appointments.
Haleakalā National Park announced it is closed until conditions improve due to blocked road access due to the fires and winds. Camping reservations are canceled as well as sunrise reservations on Wednesday.
All public libraries on Maui are closed.
Catholic Charities announced they’re closing their Maui office for the remainder of the week.
Young Brothers have delayed its “combo sailing” to Kaumalapau/Kaunakakai until Wednesday morning. It will arrive Wednesday night and they will then attempt to enter Kaumalapau on Thursday.
Previously in Kula
Maui fire crews had batted a brush fire all night long in the upcountry area of Kula.
Crews were focusing on battling the fire up in Kula and strong winds did not help those efforts — with 80 miles per hour winds at times. Due to the wind conditions, all firefighting efforts are being done on the ground.
Residents in Kula were ordered to evacuate their homes early Tuesday as a brushfire burned near the 200 subdivision off Aulii Drive.
Evacuations occurred at:
- Lahainaluna Road
- Hale Mahaolu
- Kelawea Mauka
- Lahaina Bypass.
MFD remained at the site of the fire that burned an estimated 675 acres of pastureland and gulches, including two structures, in the Olinda area.
Strong winds impacting power outages
Upcountry residents are asked to conserve water due to power outages affecting water access in some areas.
We had power outages because of that so that caused several road closures. Also upcountry there were downed trees which also had impact on our power. Also caused road closures — school closures. The important thing about that is letting our people know to not to go near any downed power lines assume that they’re all energized.”Maui Mayor Richard Bissen
Power outages were also affecting the island in the Lahaina area. HECO said power was restored to some parts but was still working on restoring power to parts of West Maui and Olinda-Piiholo.
The mayor said crews are working to restore power as quickly as possible — in the meantime, they ask residents to conserve water as electricity is needed to pump the water into homes.
Officials also ask drivers to be careful as lots of debris has been seen on the roadway.