KIHEI – Fire crews and a batallion chief stayed into the late evening hours in Kihei to keep an eye on that fire that scorched two acres Monday.
At 11:52 a.m. Monday, firefighters responded to reports of a brushfire mauka of Piilani Highway in Kihei. A Wailea ladder crew just happened to be nearby, and arrived on scene two minutes later. They found about an acre of brush burning, 100 yards mauka of Piilani Highway, and just south of Kulanihakoi St. The fire department’s Air 1 helicopter assisted crews from Kihei, Wailea, and Kahului. Northbound lanes of Pi’ilani Highway were closed for about two hours.
The site is the proposed location of the (nearly mythical) Kihei High School.
The fire was fully contained by 3:27 Monday, but crews have had not called it extinguished yet. There are a lot of large keawe trees in the area that may not be fully extinguished, so crews monitored well into the evening when it’s easier to see the glow of embers still burning.
The fire burned a total of two acres. Cause of the fire is undetermined.
The Memorial Day holiday weekend saw cooking fires along beaches and in parks across the State. But here on Maui, there were at least two fires more than anyone likely wanted.
The first flared up Saturday evening in Kahakuloa. The rapidly building fire caused $550,000 in damages to the one-story residential structure, and $5,000 to its contents. The home, located near mile marker 8 on the mauka side of Kahekili Highway, was almost entirely destroyed and vacant at the time.
At 5:38 p.m. Saturday, three fire companies, three water tankers and a battalion chief from Wailuku, Kahului, and Wailea responded to the blaze. Wailuku firefighters arrived at 5:58 p.m. and reported defensive fire conditions, indicating that a vast majority of the home was on fire. The fire was brought under control by around 6:40 p.m. and extinguished at 11:30 p.m.
A narrow driveway and overgrown foliage made it difficult for crews fighting the fire to make access. The area has no fire hydrants, so the fire department helicopter was brought in to provide water drops on the home and in the event flames spread to nearby brush. Their quick work saved nearby homes and property from sustaining any damage. Fire investigators were unable to determine the fire’s cause.
The second unwelcome fire happened very early Monday – 12:19 a.m., to be precise – when Maui Fire Department crews responded to reports of flames coming from a structure on Awalau Road, in the Haiku area of East Maui. Makawao firefighters arrived at 12:36 a.m and found residents using garden hoses to control flames coming from a shed structure. Firefighters brought the fire under control within 3 minutes, and called it extinguished at 1:06 a.m.
Residents living at the front of the property were awakened by crackling and popping sounds coming from the fire. Damages to the 20 by 40 foot shed structure were estimated at $3,000 to structure and $7,000 to contents. The shed housed a workshop for making and repairing horse-riding saddles. Cause of the fire remains under investigation.
WAILUKU – At 3:57 p.m. this afternoon, firefighters were called to Iao Valley State Park after reports of a female hiker who fell and injured herself.
A Wailuku fire crew located the 40-year-old female tourist from British Columbia, Canada, about a mile above the visitor lookout. The woman was hiking alone on the trail above the lookout, when she slipped and injured her ankle as she was descending. Emergency dispatchers were able to lock-in her location via GPS, when she called with her cell phone.
Conditions on the trail proved extremely hazardous to carry the woman out on foot, so a Kahului rescue crew aboard Air 1 airlifted her to the parking lot where she was treated and transported by paramedics with minor injuries.
KAHULUI – The Maui County Fire and Public Safety Commission has just completed its annual evaluation of Fire Chief, Jeffrey Murray for calendar year 2014. The evaluation is mandated by the Maui County Charter.
The evaluation took into consideration Chief Murray’s demonstration of leadership; communication; the annual review and update of the MFD strategic plan; department participation in community activities; maintaining leadership, promoting a professional presence in the community; managing the department’s budget; implementation of new and progressive training programs; cooperation with other departments and agencies; and the additional challenge of supervising the transfer of the Ocean Safety Division from the Department of Parks and Recreation, to the Department of Fire and Public Safety.
This change was directed by the most recent amendment of the County Charter. The transition has been smooth and – according to members – seamless.
“Chief Murray has once again performed exceptionally well in relation to the Commission’s expectations. The Commission finds Chief Murray to be a very capable manager with the ability to lead effectively. He is progressive in his approach to the management of the Department and will continue to be a Fire Chief of which Maui County can be proud ,” said Fire and Public Safety Commission Chair, William “Butch” Soares.
Napili firefighters arrived at 3:51 p.m. and found a 30 by 150-foot strip of grass burning along a dirt road, a half-mile mauka of Honoapiilani Highway, just north of Hui A Road. Another brushfire, a 20 by 20-foot area, was found and extinguished about 400 yards below the larger fire. Both were under electrical transmission lines.
A water tanker from Lahaina and the department’s Air 1 helicopter responded. The fire was contained by 4:40 p.m. and called extinguished at 5:54 p.m.
Cause of the larger fire was determined to be a downed electrical power line belonging to Maui Electric Company. Cause of the smaller fire could not be determined. No structures were threatened, no injuries reported.
HAIKU – At 4:47 p.m. Thursday afternoon, fire crews responded to a brush fire on Honopou Road in Haiku. Emergency dispatchers received multiple calls from area residents of lots of heavy smoke and flames seen.
Paia firefighters arrived at 5:06 p.m. and discovered a field of light grass and ferns burning about 150 feet from a shed structure. With the help of Makawao firefighters and a water tanker out of Kahului, crews managed to contain the fire by 5:33 p.m. and called it extinguished at 6:11 pm. No structures were damaged.
A water tanker out of Wailea and the department’s Air 1 helicopter were cancelled once crews gained control.
A total of ½ acre of pasture land was burned near the top of Honopou Road, near Hana highway. No one witnessed the fire starting. Fire cause was undetermined.
Copyright © 2015 - Island News Technologies, LLC - All rights reserved