HO’OLEHUA, MOLOKAI – At 12:47 p.m. today, firefighters on Molokai responded to a brush fire near H’oolehua Airport.
Ho’olehua firefighters arrived at 12:58 and found about a quarter-acre of grass and brush burning about a mile east of the airport, on the south side of Mauna Loa Highway in Ho’olehua.
An engine and water tanker from Kaunakakai arrived minutes later and assisted with bringing the fire under control. The fire was called contained by 2:04 and extinguished at 2:55 p.m.
The fire was determined to be accidental and was caused when remnants from an agricultural fire ignited nearby grass. About an acre was scorched on the residential property in Ho’olehua.
KULA, MAUI – Yesterday evening, June 11, while returning to station from a previous lost hiker call, a Kula fire crew assisted in locating another group of overdue hikers at Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area in Kula. The are was well-trekked on the King Kamehameha Day holiday.
Kula firefighters were driving out of the recreation area when they were approached at 6:05 p.m., by a woman that said her husband and two children were overdue. She tried contacting them by phone but they weren’t answering. She had been driving around looking for them for a couple of hours and was worried because they weren’t answering her phone calls.
Firefighters spoke with hunters in the area that reported hearing someone calling out in the woods, but they could not find them. The fire department’s Air 1 helicopter with a rescue crew aboard were called in to locate the party before darkness fell.
Air 1 located the 44-year-old man and two sons aged 6 and 8, along with their dog on a boundary trail leading to Kula crews on the ground. By 7:21 p.m., Kula firefighters had met up with the party and walked them out to the road just before dark. The family was caught in a heavy down-pour and lost their direction. Their phone got wet and wouldn’t work. The family and their dog were uninjured and are all Maui residents.
In the first lost hiker call that Kula firefighters responded to, two Maui women, aged 32 and 34, called for help after getting lost in the forest at Polipoli Springs State Recreation Area. When crews arrived at the Polipoli campground, the women were back at their car and had walked out on their own.
Makawao firefighters were on scene at 11:56 and found two separate fires at the “Y” of the Old Haleakala Highway and the new bypass. One was on the north side of Haleakala bypass and the other was on the south side.
The Makawao crew managed to contain the southern fire, which was most at risk of running away with the wind. That fire burned about 1,500 square feet. At 12:02 a.m., the Kula crew arrived and contained the fire on the north side of Haleakala bypass. That fire burned about 2,000 square feet. Both fires were extinguished by 12:35 a.m. Tuesday morning.
There were no witnesses, and circumstances surrounding the fire’s start appear suspicious. Cause of the fire was undetermined.
PIIHOLO, MAUI – At 4:23 p.m. Monday afternoon, fire crews responded to a reported brush fire in the Pi’iholo area of Upcountry Maui. Investigators have determined that the cause was downed power lines.
Makawao firefighters arrived just 11 minutes later and found lots a smoke and a slow moving grass fire within a pasture along Pi’iholo Road, just above Waiahiwi Road. Once crews made access into the pasture, they found power lines down in the fire area.
Around two acres of grass were burned. Crews called the fire contained at 4:57 p.m. and extinguished 30 minutes later. A spokesperson for Maui Electric Company says their investigation has not yet determined how the lines came down. Area residents have suggested overgrown trees near the lines should have been trimmed – preventing such blazes.
Paia firefighters arrived at 5:12 p.m. and found brush and trash burning along Hahana Road, about a half-mile makai of Hana Highway. The fire was called contained at 5:52 p.m. and extinguished at 7:41 p.m.
The fire burned about two acres in an area where people have been dumping household trash. There were no injuries or structures threatened. Cause of the fire was undetermined.
Crews from Paia, Makawao, and Kahului responded to the incident.
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.
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