PULEHU, Maui – Roughly 10 acres of sugar cane burned early this morning after a vehicle fire spread to nearby cane.
At about 5:10 am today, emergency dispatchers received a call for a large brush fire near the Pulehu Road and Omaopio Road junction. Kula firefighters arrived at 5:27 am and found about two acres of sugar cane burning a half-mile above the Pulehu Road and Omaopio Road junction. Strong 20-25 mph southerly Kona winds fanned the flames, making it difficult for firefighters and Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar (HC&S) crews to gain control of the fire.
Omaopio and Pulehu Roads were closed for a brief time due to heavy smoke and unsafe driving conditions. Engine 10, Tanker 10, and a Battalion Chief from Kahului fire station also responded.
When fire crews left the scene at 8:30 am, about 10 acres had been burned and HC&S workers took over extinguish operations. Investigation found a completely burned vehicle in the cane field. The vehicle fire was determined to be the probable cause of the unscheduled cane burn. No structures were threatened and no dollar loss to sugar cane was available.