Wildfire on Maui causes evacuations, burns 10,000 acres

wildfire on Maui Thursday
A wildfire on Maui Thursday burned 10,000 acres and forced thousands of people to evacuate. Photo courtesy of the County of Maui.

A wildfire that erupted Thursday morning on the Hawaii island of Maui burned 10,000 acres and forced thousands to evacuate. Most of the residents returned to their homes Thursday night but the fire is still active in places.

Reported at 10:42 a.m. near the intersection of Waiko Road and Kuihelani Highway, the blaze quickly jumped the Kuihelani Highway, while pushed by 15 to 20 mph winds.

wildfire Maui detected by satellite july 11 2019
Wildfire on Maui detected by a satellite, July 11, 2019.

The Fire Department’s two helicopters, Air One and Air Two, dropped water, and private companies and the County Department of Public Works made their dozers available.

The Maui Humane Society evacuated about 200 animals.

For a while Thursday The Kahului Airport lost commercial power and was running on generators. Incoming flights were diverted and 11 motor coaches and school busses were standing by at the airport in case visitors had to be evacuated to shelters.

Roads that had been closed, North Kihei Road, Kuihelani Highway, and Maui Veterans Highway reopened Thursday night.

Opra Winfrey, who owns a home on Maui, allowed County officials access to her private road.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

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