At approximately 10:00 a.m. this morning MFD crews responded to reports of a brush fire in the Olowalu area (north of Olowalu Store). Upon arrival, crews found an active brush fire behind a Paintball Field north of Olowalu Store. The fire quickly spread up the hillside, and through dry brush and kiawe. At one point the fire threatened some farm structures located on the Lahaina side of the burn area. Firefighters were able to protect those structures as the fire approached.
MPD and MFD personnel worked to evacuate those threatened in the area, which included a subdivision on Luawai Rd. Approximately 50 people were evacuated from 30 or so homes in the area. A shelter was established for evacuees in central Maui. As of 3:30 p.m., all evacuees were allowed back to their homes. Luawai Rd was also reopened at that time.
Throughout the day, 40 firefighters battled the blaze and as of this release it is considered 90% contained. Firefighters are also being assisted by 3 helicopters which were able to make water drops, as well as tankers and equipment from West Maui Land Co, Hawaiian Dredging, and PB Sullivan. Crews are currently dousing hot spots and will be monitoring this fire throughout the night to ensure the perimeter is secure.
It is estimated that 200 acres have burned, and there are no reported damages caused by this fire. There are also no injuries to report. The cause of this fire has not been determined.
*This story has been updated at 5:10pm