Maui firefighters respond to Kahikinui brush fire flare-up

KAHIKINUI, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Maui Fire Department reports that the Kahikinui brushfire on Mt. Haleakala's south slope flared up once again Wednesday afternoon.

Emergency dispatchers received a call from a Kahikinui Homestead resident saying the brush fire had flared up at 3 p.m.

Air 1 responded with Kula firefighters and arrived at 3:54 p.m. to find three to four acres were burning near the mauka perimeter.

The closest home was more than a mile away, so no structures were threatened at the time.

Two additional choppers from Pacific Helicopter tours were contracted to assist with water drops until darkness forced them to return to Kahului Airport.

When the aircraft left the scene, there was still active fire burning, but it was only creeping slowly upslope.

By 6:30 p.m., the flare-up was estimated to be seven to 10 acres and moving uphill into the denser forested areas.

A crew of five firefighters will stand watch overnight to keep tabs on where the fire is headed. State Division of Forestry and Wildlife personnel and helicopters will be out again tomorrow morning to resume firefighting operations.

Piilani Highway is open to all traffic but motorists are advised taht the road may close momentarily at any time for helicopter operations on or near the highway.

The County of Maui and Maui Police Department Facebook pages are available for updated road closure notices.

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