The brush fire that started off the side of Haleakala Highway, then spread to a fallow sugar cane field on Thursday afternoon has been contained. Fire crews called it 100 percent contained at 2:03 a.m. early Friday morning.
Two engine companies and two water tankers were mopping up the area Friday into the afternoon. Crews will continue to monitor the area for hot spots before officially calling it extinguished. The prior estimates on Thursday night were larger than originally thought, and the affected burn area still stands at around 100 acres.
The cause of the fire has not been determined.
The fire was reported at 3:56 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, by multiple motorists driving on Haleakala Highway. It was reported as a small fire starting up in the grass off the south shoulder of Haleakala Highway, then spread rapidly into the fallow sugar cane fields by gusty trade wind conditions. By the time Kahului firefighters arrived at 4:04 p.m., the fire was already 2 to 3 acres and could not be contained.
Fortunately, the blaze did not affect afternoon “pau hana” traffic on Haleakala Highway, since prevailing trades kept the smoke away from the highway.
*This story has been updated