Maui News

Council Chair to Host Meeting on South Maui Fire Safety

August 22, 2019, 12:16 PM HST
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File Photo: Maui Department of Fire and Public Safety/ Maui Now graphics.

Maui County Council Chair and representative for South Maui, Kelly King, will host a public meeting about South Maui fire safety, prevention and mitigation on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019 at 6 p.m., at St. Theresa Church’s Stawatz Hall located at 25 W. Līpoa St in Kīhei.

The purpose of the meeting is to inform and educate the public on fire hazards, safety and prevention, and provide a venue where the community can ask questions directly of representatives from public safety organizations here on Maui.

Representatives from the Maui Police Department, Maui Department of Fire and Public Safety, Maui Emergency Management Agency and Maui Electric Company have been invited to make presentations about the recent fires on Maui.

Maui EMA head administrator Herman Andaya and communications specialist Paul Coe have confirmed they will be participating in the meetings. Police Captain Randy Esperanza also confirmed that a representative from the Kīhei Patrol District and/or a representative from the Criminal Investigation Division will share information about the status of open fire investigations.

“We are all concerned about the fires on South Maui and what we can do to prevent additional incidences,” Chair King said. “This meeting will be an opportunity to speak with representatives who deal directly with fire safety and management issues.”

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Chair King will open the meeting, followed by short presentations from representatives of the participating organizations. Following the presentations, there will be break-out question and answer sessions, each one facilitated by the respective representative from MPD, MFD, EMA and MECO.

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“I think it is important that the public has access to that information and has an opportunity to ask questions on how we can prevent a catastrophic fire from occurring,” said King.

Large summer brush fires affecting south Maui have included the following:

  • July 11: a brushfire that began near Waikō Road turned into a four day battle for fire fighters, with flames shutting down roads and eating up 9,000 acres of brush.  The fire started in Central Maui, but spread quickly to affect the South Maui community.
  • July 22: a brushfire north of Maui Meadows burned 80 acres, shutting down one lane of the Piʻilani Highway near the fire. Police arrested an 18-year-old for second degree reckless endangering after he told officers he was smoking marijuana and embers from his pipe started the fire.
  • August 11: three brushfires broke out– two in Waikapū and one consuming 270 acres in Kīhei, above the Maui Research and Technology Park. Police are investigating these fires as potential arson cases.

*A more detailed list with summer fires affecting other areas of Maui is available here.

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This is a free event and the public is welcome. Questions can be directed to Suzanne Kayian [email protected]

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