Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa talks about the brush fires

Local News

A brush fire in Lahaina that damaged 21 homes and schools, and seriously injured one woman, who officials say is doing okay.

KHON2 spoke with Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa about the brush fire.

That downpour that Maui residents have been dreading finally arrived, but there’s one part of Maui that is really welcoming this moisture –west Maui where the last of the three major brush fires is still burning. 

It’s still 80 percent contained right now and firefighters are hoping that firefighters are hoping that this rain will help them do their job. 

So what happens now? 

The best person to answer that question is Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa. Where are you going to be concentrating county efforts right now?”

“Right now we have our fire crews still out in Lahaina,” said Arakawa. “They will be doing mop-up operations. Hopefully the rain will put out most of the fire. We were actually, it’s kind of ironic. Last night we were praying for rain and it was dry. Here it comes. I just want to comment a little bit. Our firefighters drew a line in the sand just where the houses were. There was a very, very strong possibility that the entire Lahaina town could have gone up in flames yesterday. Because they refused to let that happen, you can see where literally just yards before the houses. They were able to turn the fire and get it away from a lot of the residences. There were a lot of moving parts to this whole thing. At one point when we were talking to the governor and the FEMA agencies and state defense agencies, we were looking at the possibility to evacuate 20,000 people out of the Lahaina area. If the hurricane had generated the kinds of winds and surf that we had been anticipating you know 15-20 plus feet, it would have buried Honopiilani Highway and we wouldn’t have had an access in or out of Lahaina. If the hurricane had generated the kinds of winds and surf that we had been anticipating you know 15-20 plus feet, it would have buried Honopiilani highway and we wouldn’t have had an access in or out of Lahaina.”

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