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MFD: Fast-moving brush fire that destroyed Maui community center now 95% contained

Published: Dec. 28, 2020 at 10:07 AM HST|Updated: Dec. 28, 2020 at 10:12 AM HST
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Olowalu, Maui (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two wind-whipped brush fires on Maui that burned hundreds of acres over the weekend are now 95% contained, the Maui Fire Department said.

Officials say crews are still securing the perimeters for both the Olowalu and Kula Agricultural Park fires.

As of 9 a.m. Monday, officials say the brush fire in Olowalu has burned approximately 760 acres.

The second fire in Kula burned at least seven acres.

MFD Battalion Chief Kaulana Kino said the strong gusts fanned the flames toward the Olowalu Community Center, which is also known to be used as a church. The hall caught fire before crews could get there.

“We’re constantly getting extreme fires in that area.”

In addition to the community center, several cars and storage units were destroyed.

With such extreme weather, Kino said they had to wait until the next morning for air support.

Pete Vorhes, a pilot at Windward Aviation, said it was hard not being able to help.

“It’s difficult for pilots to listen to all the action going on, on the radio and not be able to be there to help them and direct,” said Vorhes.

The fire also damaged a residence on Luawau Street.

Officials say the cost of the damage is estimated at $30,000.

Two fires burn in Maui
Two fires burn in Maui(Maui 24/7)

MFD says no injuries were reported and the causes for both fires are still under investigation.

Officials say the fire in Olowalu broke out at around 5:30 p.m. on Saturday by the Olowalu store, causing many residents to evacuate their homes.

Honoapiilani Highway was also briefly closed.

This story will be updated.

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