UPDATE: Maui firefighters continue mop-up, wildfire containment

Photo was taken around 5:30 p.m. Thursday of firefighting work in the north Kihei area. (PC:Maui Fire Department)

The Maui Fire Department revised its containment for Maui’s 9,000-acre wildfire upward to 80 percent late Saturday afternoon, while firefighters continued working on putting out hot spots, especially on perimeter areas.

Containment remained at 90 percent for the 200-acre fire first reported at 1:30 p.m. Friday in the vicinity of the new Safeway and Lowe’s in Kahului.

On Saturday, residents and visitors may have seen smoke in the Puunene area. That was Maui firefighters working to “burn out” unburned fuel around the Puunene fire to keep it from spreading outside a perimeter area.

The department’s Air One and Two helicopters began making air drops of water after sunrise and were expected to continue working until sunset Saturday.

Mayor Michael Victorino said: “I would like to remind our residents and visitors to stay alert and vigilant for the next few days. I also would like to thank all the firefighters, police, first responders, emergency management personnel, private contractors, state partners and volunteers who worked tirelessly to protect lives and property.”

The 9,000-acre fire was first reported at 10:42 a.m. Thursday near the intersection of Kuihelani Highway and Waiko Road. It spread rapidly south and east, jumping Kuihelani and Maui Veterans highways as it consumed fallow sugar lands and dry brush to north Kihei.

The fire triggered road closures and evacuations in Maalaea and north Kihei.

Now, all roads are open, and there are no evacuations as firefighters continue mop-up work, including putting out hot spots and flare-ups.



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