Maui News

UPDATE: Electrical Arc at Maui Electric Substation Sparks 7-Acre Wailea Fire

April 5, 2016, 12:04 PM HST
* Updated April 6, 7:32 AM
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UPDATE: A brushfire reported at 11:05 a.m. Tuesday, April 5, 2016 in Wailea was determined to be accidental. Maui fire officials say the seven acre fire started after an electrical arc on a Maui Electric Company transmission line dropped a shower of sparks, igniting the dry grass below it.

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Wailea firefighters first responded to the same area located about 300 yards mauka of Kalai Waa Street about 90 minutes earlier, at 9:28 a.m. Firefighters extinguished a grass fire which burned a 40 foot circle below a high voltage transmission line. The Wailea area experienced a power outage at about the same time.

After MECO personnel reenergized the transmission line, an electrical arc occurred and ignited another grass fire not far from the first one. The fire spread gradually upslope but was stopped by MFD ground crews and the fire department’s chopper providing water drops from above.

Maui Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto said that when crews left the scene at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, the fire was 100% contained, but had not yet been called extinguished since there were large kiawe trees inside the burned areas still smoldering. Crews will be checking on the fire again in the morning.

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UPDATE: 12:20 p.m. 4/5/16, A brush fire in Wailea has burned seven acres since it was first reported at 11:05 a.m. on Tuesday, April 5, 2016, on the mauka side of Kalai Waʻa Street near the Maui Electric substation.

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Maui Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto said wind conditions are light with the fire moving slowly upslope towards ʻUlupalakua.

A total of 19 firefighters from four companies, two water tankers, a battalion chief and the department’s Air 1 helicopter are on the scene. As of 12:20 p.m., no structures were threatened.

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WAILEA FIRE: 11:15 a.m. 4/5/16, Maui firefighters are battling an active fire near the Wailea MECO sub-station. Crews are on scene responding to the incident.

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Earlier this morning, a power outage was reported in Wailea at 9:55 a.m., with power restored by 10:38 a.m.  It is unclear at this time if the incidents are related.

Wailea fire, 4.5.16. Photo credit: Ellen Raimo.

Wailea fire, 4.5.16. Photo credit: Ellen Raimo.

Wailea fire near Maui Electric substation. 4.5.16. Photo credit: Paul Hiranaga

Wailea fire near Maui Electric substation. 4.5.16. Photo credit: Paul Hiranaga

Wailea fire near Maui Electric substation. 4.5.16. Photo credit: Paul Hiranaga

Wailea fire near Maui Electric substation. 4.5.16. Photo credit: Paul Hiranaga

Wailea fire near Maui Electric substation. 4.5.16. Photo credit: Guelz Beezy.

Wailea fire near Maui Electric substation. 4.5.16. Photo credit: Guelz Beezy.

Wailea fire near Maui Electric substation. 4.5.16. Photo credit: Guelz Beezy.

Wailea fire near Maui Electric substation. 4.5.16. Photo credit: Guelz Beezy.

Wailea fire near Maui Electric substation. 4.5.16. Photo credit: Paul Hiranaga

Wailea fire near Maui Electric substation. 4.5.16. Photo credit: Paul Hiranaga

 Wailea fire near Maui Electric substation. 4.5.16. Photo credit: Paul Hiranaga

Wailea fire near Maui Electric substation. 4.5.16. Photo credit: Paul Hiranaga

Wailea fire near Maui Electric substation. 4.5.16. Photo credit: Paul Hiranaga

Wailea fire near Maui Electric substation. 4.5.16. Photo credit: Paul Hiranaga

Wailea fire near Maui Electric substation. 4.5.16. Photo credit: Paul Hiranaga

Wailea fire near Maui Electric substation. 4.5.16. Photo credit: Paul Hiranaga

Wailea fire near Maui Electric substation. 4.5.16. Photo credit: Paul Hiranaga

Wailea fire near Maui Electric substation. 4.5.16. Photo credit: Paul Hiranaga

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