Maui firefighters protect structures from 200-acre Olowalu brush fire

Wind-whipped blaze in Olowalu burns 200 acres, triggers evacuations
Published: Aug. 31, 2018 at 3:09 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 1, 2018 at 12:20 PM HST
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(Image: Maui Fire Department)
(Image: Maui Fire Department)

OLOWALU, MAUI (HAWAII NEWS NOW) - Maui firefighters spent much of Friday battling a wind-whipped brush fire in Olowalu.

The blaze started about 10 a.m. Throughout the day, some 40 firefighters battled the blaze on land and in the air.

By 5:15 p.m. Friday, the fire was 90 percent contained and 200 acres were scorched.

At one point, MFD said the fire threatened several homes, forcing about 50 people to evacuate. Flames also got close to farm-like structures on the Lahaina side, but firefighters worked quickly and they were able to save those buildings.

A shelter was opened for evacuees. By about 4 p.m., though, Maui County officials said it was safe for residents to return home.

Mid-day, helicopters were seen scooping water up from the ocean. And residents got emergency alerts sent to their phones.

"I could see the flames. it was pretty close," said resident Warren Celario. "The tankers went in. They set up a fire line right above our paintball field."

"The fire started on the left side of us. It was all the way over there by the paintball field and then not even 10 minutes later it just covered the mountain," Celario added.

No injuries and no damages to structures were reported.

This story will be updated.

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