KAHIKINUI, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A massive brush fire that broke out Monday on the southern slopes of Haleakala has been fully contained, Maui firefighter said Saturday.
The blaze burned more than 5,300 acres, and required incredible manpower to get under control.
Throughout the week, helicopter crews performed water drops, while firefighters fought flames on the ground and created fire breaks to prevent structures from being burned and the blaze from spreading.
They got a break Saturday, when blustery winds backed off, giving firefighters time to address smoldering areas.
Maui Fire Department spokesman Edward Taomoto said the blaze isn't fully extinguished. Firefighters will be conducting periodic checks to ensure the blaze doesn't start up again.
Earlier, Taomoto said fighting the Kahikinui fire has been a huge community effort.
Before first responders were able to close the roads Monday evening, good Samaritans like Joe Santos sprung into action. "I took my truck and I blocked the road because I was trying to stop anybody from driving into the fire," said Santos, operations manager for Kaupo Ranch.
Shortly after, Maui firefighters were in full force fighting the blaze. Various public and private entities also helped supplying manpower and bulldozers.
The efforts helped save all the homes in the Kahikinui Homesteads.
"The fire got close to the homestead side, a little more on the Ulupalakua area, that's where it was really intense trying to save the houses. The trade winds were bringing the fire close to the homes and that's where the stress level got a little bit crazy," said Santos.
Taomoto said the Maui Fire Department expresses its gratitude to everyone who helped and continues to help fight the fire.
"They're always there to help us. They got the heavy equipment, they got the area knowledge, without hesitation they always come out and assist us," Taomoto said.