More than 5,300 acres burned in still-smoldering Maui blaze

Published: Aug. 2, 2019 at 4:26 PM HST
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MAUI, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A large brush fire in Pukalani that’s burned more than 5,300 acres is now about 80% contained, the Hawaii County Fire Department said.

Officials said rain associated with Tropical Storm Erick helped prevent the spread of flames.

On Friday, firefighters were working to douse hotspots, and using heavy equipment to cut and reinforce fire breaks.

Authorities said the fire was caused by fire equipment that were in the fields near Haleakala Highway.

The blaze started about 1:50 p.m. Thursday. The fire first sparked near Haleakala Highway and then moved south, jumping across Pulehu Road.

Pulehu Road was initially closed, but it was reopened on Friday morning.

Weather conditions initially made the firefight difficult on Thursday as flames were being pushed by strong winds. Most of Maui was under a wind advisory thanks to Tropical Storm Erick.

As the fire burned into the night, the flames could be seen for miles away and thick smoke filled the air.

(Image: Tracy Maddela)
(Image: Tracy Maddela)

“This is a very fast-moving fire that remains un-contained so I ask all of our residents and visitors to stay out of the area,” Maui Mayor Michael Victorino said.

“Our first responders are working diligently and I ask everyone to be cautious and stay informed.”

The fire has not prompted any evacuations or threatened any homes. But authorities are asking residents to pay attention and heed any emergency warnings.

This story will be updated.

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