Maui Fire Claims Homes

Adelaide Rodrigues
Adelaide Rodrigues

OLOWALU, Maui (KHNL) - Officials on Maui said they had the fire eighty percent contained at about 4:30 PM Thursday. But that all changed Thursday night when more people needed to be evacuated from their homes.

Ground and air crews fought back the flames for two days now. More than 1,400 acres are scorched while the fire continues to threaten homes.

The Nahooikaika's house behind the Olowalu general store didn't make it and even though family members tried to hose down the property, the fire moved too quickly.

Warren Black Nahooikaika says his family, "said they heard on the radio, the fire above the area of mom's house jumped to the Wailuku end and his brother said, they tried to grab hoses and went down to the area around the house, and all of a sudden the wind changed and started to come back. All of a sudden, it was too fast and too sudden. They couldn't keep up with it and had to leave within minutes."

The strong winds over the past day have hampered the firefighting efforts. Haku Applegate lost most of his farm.

He says, "It took about 60 percent of our operating farm. We have five acres and a good two to three acres have been burned."

The fire even destroys an irrigation system to the area, and without water, the rest of the farm will surely die.

Three people who live on the farm are now homeless. More people in the Launiupoko area continue to be evacuated, but some, at least for the time being, are lucky.

Adelaide Rodrigues who lives in the Olowalu area says, "Every time the fire comes down near the homes, the wind shifts. The wind blows the fire away from our place."

The people who were living on the farm are now staying at a local church, and the Nahooikaika family who lost their house are staying at a condo in Kahana.


The Nahooikaika family home in Olowalu was destroyed in Thursday's fire.

Photo courtesy of The Maui News / LILA FUJIMOTO photo

Above smaller photos courtesy Don Norris, Images Inc. Launiupoko.