Maui News

UPDATE: Pulehu Brush Fire Flares Up, Oct. 15

October 16, 2017, 8:42 AM HST
* Updated October 16, 4:44 PM
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UPDATE: Oct. 16, 3:44 p.m.

Fire crews were called back to the Pulehu brush fire at around 8:30 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 16, 2017, after a flareup rekindled inside the perimeter of one of the three previous fires that first began on Monday, Oct. 9.

The Pulehu brush fire was declared 100% contained at 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12; however, it was never called extinguished because of a number of areas still smoldering within its borders.

Two engine crews and water tankers from Kahului and Wailea worked to contain a sizeable flareup near the mauka perimeter of the fires that started last week.

Firefighters were able to stop the spread of the blaze early Monday morning after it consumed around 40 additional acres of brush and fallow sugar cane about a mile west of the Omaopio Road-Pulehu Road junction.

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Sunday night’s flareup brings the total area burned to around 140 acres.

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Although the fire is still 100% contained and has not spread beyond firebreaks made by bulldozers on the downwind edges, large areas of unburned fuels still remain inside containment lines where flareups have been occurring.

Difficult-to-reach areas with large kiawe trees and heavy brush on the mauka edges are making it challenging for firefighters to fully extinguish the fire.

Since mid-morning Monday, an engine crew, a hazmat crew and water tankers from Kula, Kahului and Wailea have been mopping up at the fire scene.

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The Maui Fire Department’s Air-1 helicopter has been assisting crews with water drops on stubborn areas and flareups throughout the day.

Firefighters anticipate being on the scene until late Monday night and will patrol the areas overnight.

With the winds forecast to become gusty in the coming days, crews are likely to continue mop up operations through the end of the week.

ORIGINAL POST: Oct. 16, 8:42 p.m.

Maui Now has received many reports of a fire in the same location as the three brush fires reported last week.

View of fire from View from W. Vineyard St. and Church St., Wailuku, around 9:30 p.m. Oct. 15, 2017 PC: Kimberly Gollnick

View of fire around 9 p.m., nearly twice the size as first photo 30 minutes earlier from Omaopio in Kula.
PC: Sabrina

View of fire around 8:30 p.m. from Omaopio in Kula.
PC: Sabrina

Fire officials are on scene, no official report has come through from Maui Fire Department.

Around 8:38 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 15, a Maui Now reader sent in a photo saying there was another fire in the same cane fields as the three fires last Monday, Oct. 9. She stated the fire was small but big enough to see from her house on top of Omaopio Rd in Kula.

The reader said she called the non-emergency line and the dispatcher told her they knew about the fire and crews were on scene investigating.

Due to the high wind advisory, she told Maui Now the fire doubled in size quickly.

Shortly before 9 p.m. she said the fire was being blown towards the Kihei side.

At 9:04 p.m. she said the fire had doublied in size and was as big as the one last week Monday.

More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Pulehu fire rekindles, Monday, Oct. 16, 2017. Timothy Lara

Pulehu fire rekindles, Monday, Oct. 16, 2017. Timothy Lara

Pulehu fire rekindles, Monday, Oct. 16, 2017. Timothy Lara

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