200-acre brush fire on Maui forces temporary evacuation of dozens of residents


Firefighters are gaining the upper hand on a 200-acre brush fire on Maui.

It broke out at around 10 a.m. Friday behind a paintball field in Olowalu.

Officials say the fire quickly spread up the hillside, devouring dry brush and kiawe.

At one point, flames threatened some farm structures on the Lahaina side of the burn area, but crews were able to protect them.

Roughly 50 people were evacuated from dozens of homes in the area, including a subdivision on Luawai Road. A shelter was opened in central Maui, and all evacuees were allowed to return to their homes by 3:30 p.m.

Throughout the day, 40 firefighters battled the blaze. It was considered 90 percent contained as of 5 p.m. They were assisted by three helicopters making water drops, as well as tankers and equipment from West Maui Land Co., Hawaiian Dredging, and PB Sullivan Construction.

Crews are currently dousing hot spots and will be monitoring the fire throughout the night to ensure the perimeter is secure.

No damage was reported and no one was hurt.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

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