Olowalu Fire UPDATE: Honoapi‘ilani Highway OPEN
July 8, 7 p.m.
The Maui Fire Department has reported that the Honoapii‘lani Highway has been reopened after traffic was stopped for a brief period.
Motorists should limit their travels to and from the West Maui area as traffic is expected to be heavy and moving very slowly.
Conditions can change at a moment’s notice, so motorists should be prepared for future road closures if
July 8, 6 p.m.
As of 4: p.m., Friday July 8, 2016, the Olowalu brush fire was estimated at around 300 acres.
As of 6:30 p.m., Maui police are currently preparing to close the Honoapi‘ilani Highway to traffic in both directions because of smoke crossing the roadway and creating a hazard to motorists.
Honoapii‘lani Highway is being closed between the Pali Tunnel and Ehehene Street. When roads are ready to reopen, another update will follow.
Three homes and their families have been evacuated from the Olowalu-Ukumehame area.
Earlier this afternoon, a structure on Ehehene Street was threatened, as fire advanced eastward towards the Ukumehame area.
Fire crews and bulldozers from County Public Works, West Maui Land Co. and Goodfellow Brothers Construction were able to protect the home as flames ripped past the property and left the home unscathed.
Crews are currently cutting fire breaks and are protecting another home on Paekii Place, as well as preventing it from reaching the Ukumehame Firing Range.
The fire department’s Air 1 helicopter and two more private helicopters from Windward Aviation were making water drops by air. Bulldozers and water tankers from Maui County Public Works, West Maui Land Co., and Goodfellow Brothers Construction were assisting in the firefighting efforts.
Thirteen firefighters and heavy equipment from the State Division of Forestry & Wildlife were also assisting.
About 40 Maui firefighters from Lahaina, Napili, Kīhei, Wailea, Kahului, and Kula were fighting the fire in West Maui today.
In all, about 81 personnel from all of the assisting agencies, including MFD, were on the scene this afternoon.
The fire is located mauka of Honoapi‘ilani Highway between mileposts 12 and 14, which is roughly between Olowalu Village Road and the Ukumehame Firing Range.
Cause of the brush fire has not yet been determined. No damages to structures or injuries have been reported.