Maui fire crews are mopping up hot spots and watching for flare-ups after a raging wildfire near Wailuku. Three helicopters provided water drops as firefighters on the ground battled the blaze which started at about 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Fire officials said gusty winds and steep terrain caused the flames to spread rapidly.
"There was a lot of people panicking because the fire, like I said, was crackling, raging and it was pretty high, and the helicopters just started arriving, but a lot of the residents here, they were out of their homes and were watering down their property," said Happy Valley resident Fred Losano.
The flames threatened many homes on Mokuhau Road, Maika Street, and Maunalei Place, but no damage was reported.
"It was a raging fire. The wind today was real strong," said Ekolu Furtado, who works at Still Smokin' in Happy Valley. " There are expensive homes up on that hill and I would say that they're pretty close."
The fire is believed to have been started by electrical power equipment which feeds a water department substation. The flames damaged a primary water well in the area. Residents in Waihee, Waiehu, Happy Valley, Wailuku, Waikapu and Kahului are being asked to conserve water until crews can access the site and assess damage.