Hawaii News

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Battling 9,000-acre blaze in Central Maui, north Kihei cost $400K

Battling last week’s 9,000-acre wildfire in Central Maui and north Kihei cost the county roughly $400,000, with most of the scorched acreage owned by Mahi Pono, Maui Fire Department and Mahi Pono officials said Tuesday. “Currently, our field crew estimates that approximately 5,000 acres of Mahi Pono’s land has been affected by the fire,” Shan Tsutsui, senior vice president of operations at Mahi Pono, said via email. “The parcels affected were south of Waiko Road down towards Maalaea with additional parcels to the east of Pulehunui also being impacted.” Tsutsui said damage to Mahi Pono’s equipment was “pretty minimal.” “There were some irrigation parts that melted and a few electrical infrastructure poles and drip stations that burned up. However, there was no damage to any tractors or vehicles,” Tsutsui added. Mahi Pono is targeting the end of this month or early August to begin planting its first crops. The company purchased 41,000 acres of former sugar cane lands from Alexander & Baldwin in December.
Maui News

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Wildfires that ravaged Central Maui now completely contained, mayor says

A pair of wildfires on Maui that began late last week have been 100 percent contained, Maui Mayor Michael Victorino announced Monday morning. Firefighters will continue working in the area until the fires are extinguished. The flames burned a combined 9,200 acres, causing power outages and cancelling flights out of the Kahului airport. Thousands of residents were forced to evacuate the area Thursday, at the height of the flames, and the nearby Maui Humane Society actually recruited community volunteers to help transport animals to safety. “Words cannot express how relieved I am that there were no injuries or major property damage from what were dangerous, fast-moving fires that required evacuations and road closures,” Victorino said. Officials ask the public to stay out the burned areas due to hazards that may not be visible. Air quality in Central and South Maui also improved Monday morning, at least compared to late Sunday, when windblown dust and ash enveloped Haleakala from Upcountry Maui to Kaupo and South Maui.
KHNL/KGMB-TV Hawaii News Now

RELATED: Oprah Winfrey donates to Maui Humane Society post-fire evacuation scare

Now that both fires on Maui are 100 percent contained, everything is nearly back to normal at the Maui Humane Society. Staff evacuated 245 animals from the shelter on Thursday amid a wildfire that charred 9,000 acres of land. The staff and animals returned to the shelter Saturday morning. The only damage to the shelter was a burnt wall on a storage container. On Saturday, Oprah Winfrey stopped by the shelter to thank staff and volunteers, and leave a donation.
KITV-TV ABC 4 Honolulu

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