Maui News

UPDATE: Pihana Heiau Brush Fire Burns 1 Acre

August 26, 2013, 2:50 PM HST
* Updated August 26, 7:40 PM
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Pihana Heiau fire. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Pihana Heiau fire. Photo by Wendy Osher.

[flashvideo file=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKGIxAKqqSg /] By Wendy Osher

Firefighters battled a brush fire reported on Monday afternoon at the Halekiʻi-Pihana Heiau State Monument in Wailuku.

Heavy smoke was reported at 2:07 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 26, 2013, closer to the Pihana or Pihanakalani portion of the site, towards the mauka side of the monument.

Fire crews were observed making access via the Paukukalo side of the heiau to battle the blaze.

Fire fighters from Wailuku and Kahului responded to a brush fire located at the end of Piihana Road, next to the heiau, fire officials said.

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Units arrived to find an area approximately one-acre in size involved, said Maui Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga.

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According to department reports, fire was called under control by 3:30 p.m. and extinguished at 4:27 p.m. No structures were threatened and no injuries or monetary damages were reported, said FS Chief Mainaga.

The cause of the fire was undetermined, officials said.

The Pihana Heiau portion of the site was reportedly used as a luakini or sacrificial heiau, according to the Maui Historical Society.

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“It is believed that in 1790 Kamehameha I invoked his war god at Pihana after his defeat of Kalanikupuli’s forces in ʻĪao Valley,” according to information published by the Maui Historical Society on its website.

Pihana Heiau in Wailuku.  File photo by Wendy Osher.

Pihana Heiau in Wailuku. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Pihana Heiau fire. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Pihana Heiau fire. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Pihana Heiau fire. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Pihana Heiau fire. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Pihana Heiau fire. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Pihana Heiau fire. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Pihana Heiau fire. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Pihana Heiau fire. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Pihana Heiau fire. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Tanker truck responding to the Pihana Heiau fire 8/26/13. Photo by Wendy Osher.

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