Fire crews on Tuesday, Oct. 10, continued the mop up phase on the three brush fires that scorched an estimated 100 acres of fallow sugar cane land in Pulehu. At 6 p.m. Tuesday evening the fire was about 75 percent contained. Firefighters will continue monitoring those areas for Wednesday, Oct. 11.
Two engine companies, two water tankers, and a battalion chief from Kahului, Paia, and Wailea snuffed out hotspots around the problem areas most at risk of flaring up throughout Tuesday. Air-1 conducted water drops in the afternoon after flare-ups broke out in areas unreachable by ground crews.
Firefighters received the call at around 3:40 p.m. Monday, Oct. 9, after receiving multiple reports of smoke in the area southwest of the Central Maui Landfill and the “Y” at Pulehu Road and Omaopio Road junction.
Responding firefighters on Monday afternoon reported seeing three separate fires spread out more than a mile apart. The uppermost fire was about a mile southwest of the “Y” on Pulehu Rd. The fire on the western edge was located about 3 miles west of the “Y”, near the Hawaiian Cement quarry. A third fire was located somewhere in the middle.
The cause of the three fires were undetermined and considered suspicious.
The fires occurred in former sugar cane fields far from any neighborhoods so no structures were threatened. No injuries were reported.
On Monday three engine crews, a hazmat company, 3 water tankers and a battalion chief from Kula, Kahului, Kihei, and Wailea battled the flames. They were aided by crews from Maui County Public Works, Hawaiian Cement, and Goodfellow Brothers Inc., who brought with them bulldozers and water tankers. Two helicopters also conducted aerial water drops on the fires.
Bulldozers that cut firebreaks around the fires were key in keeping it from spreading, and also provided drivable roads for fire crews to make access to previously inaccessible areas.