Maalaea brush fire 70 percent contained

Maui Now

7:00 a.m. Update: Firefighters say that they have gained the upper hand on a brush fire in Ma’alaea.

According to officials, the blaze forced hundreds of people to evacuate their homes on Wednesday.

All evacuation orders have now been lifted.

Authorities have been forced to close some major roadways several times while fighting the fire.

Drivers are reminded to continue to use caution and follow directions from police.

5:50 p.m. Update: The Maui Fire Department reports that the 4,100-acre Maalaea Mauka wildfire remained at 70 percent contained after 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3.

The fire will be reassessed Friday morning, Oct. 4.

Twenty-eight firefighters worked the perimeter of the fire today, and firefighters will continue to monitor the fire overnight.

The department’s Air 1 helicopter continued water drops until 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Update 9:30 a.m.: According to MPD, Honoapi’ilani Highway in the Kahului bound direction is closed from the entrance to Ma’alaea Harbor due to a flare up from Wednesday’s fire.

Motorists are advised to avoid the area

Traffic continues to be slowed on Honoapiilani Highway between Mile Post 11 (King’s Trail) and the Ukumehame Firing Range.

Contraflow measures have started to relieve congestion at Papalaua on the Lahaina side of the Lahaina Pali Trail. The State and Maui Fire Department are using heavy equipment on the roadway in the area of the firing range to build up a berm to keep the fire from reaching the highway.

Update: Some major roadways on Maui are back open as of Thursday morning.

The fight against a massive brush fire in Maalaea continues.

Last checked, the fire had scorched 4,100 acres.

Honoapiilani Highway and Kahekili Highway are now back open.

However, traffic on the Waihee side is being re-routed back through Waihee.

Drivers are also being warned to obey officers directions since there may have to be more road closures as the situation changes.

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Maui firefighters are responding to an ongoing fire in Maalaea, Wednesday, October 2, around 9 a.m.

The fire has picked up in the Papalaua Wayside area as of 7 p.m. According to officials, there were delayed attempts to alternate traffic.  

Officers will contra-flow traffic along Honoapiilani Highway between Maalaea and Ukumehame.  

Earlier, the fire the roadside at Maalaea prompting the evacuation of residents in the area.

Police personnel will be conducting the evacuations.

As a result of the road closures, emergency shelters at Wailuku and Kahului Community Centers will be opened at 7:00 pm. Anyone affected by the road closures are encouraged to take advantage of the emergency shelters at that time.

Kings Cathedral will be opening their doors at 5:30 p.m. for relief efforts. They will be providing food.

The fire broke out on the upper slopes of a mountain in the vicinity of North Kihei Road and the Honoapiilani Highway intersection.

Responders are working on the fire’s containment as three chopper units make water drops.

Mayor Michael Victorino drove out to the Pali to survey the brush fire and support the Police and Fire Departments.

“I want to ask all of our visitors and residents to stay away from the Pali area and not to drive to the west side,” Mayor Michael Victorino said. “Heavy smoke and strong winds are making visibility very difficult and the speed of the fire poses a serious safety hazard to the public. I will be doing everything I can to provide the support our first responders need and I’m very grateful for their efforts.”

Residents and visitors are asked to cancel plans going into Lahaina due to the fire causing closures of Honoapiilani Highway. Traffic traveling out of Lahaina and toward Kahului Airport has been allowed intermittently, based on conditions.

As of 4:30 p.m. Honoapiilani Highway at North Kihei Road and at Luawai St. in Olowalu have been closed. Units are posted at the Mile Post 7 in Kahakuloa and Nakalele Point, which is the only location that is alternating traffic every half an hour.

The Pali is still a complete shutdown.

Kahekili Highway will also be closed from Waihee to DT Fleming Beach Park.

According to the Maui Fire Department, the fire is making its way toward the highway along the Pali.

So far, Kahaeawa Wind Farm employees and homes have been evacuated.

Authorities also say that another fire has broken out in the hills in Wailuku, but it was later contained.

The cause of both fires are unknown at this time.

Fire officials say that the fire is over 4,000 acres in size and has reached the Papalaua Wayside Park.

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