Body discovered after Olowalu brush fire identified


The body of a man that was discovered during mop-up operations at the site of the Friday, March 11, brush fire in Olowalu has been identified.

He was Greg Early, 58, a part-time resident of Kihei and of Tenmile, Oregon.

Cause of death is pending autopsy results.

The cause of the brush fire is still undetermined.

The fire sparked at around 2:10 a.m. along Honoapiilani Highway, between Olowalu Recycling and Refuse Convenience Center and Kai Hele Ku Street, near Launiupoko Beach Park.

It burned roughly eight acres, officials said.

Firefighters arrived to find a brush fire in light grassy fuels with a mix of kiawe trees on the mauka side of the highway. Additional resources were called in because the fire was spreading fast due to strong winds.

Crews from Lahaina, Napili, Kahului, Wailuku, and Wailea fire stations responded. Assistance was also received from West Maui Land Company and the Public Works Department.

The fire was reported to have started near the cut-mountain area It traveled quickly in the Wailuku and Napili directions, jumping the highway to burn a small area of brush on the makai side.

Honoapiilani Highway was closed by police for about an hour in the initial phase of the fire. No structures were threatened.

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