Maui firefighters made water drops by helicopter beginning at daybreak today, and ground crews worked to contain the perimeter of a West Maui brush fire that had grown to 2,100 acres by Thursday afternoon.
There was no immediate threat to homes or other structures.
As of 4:30 p.m. today, the fire burned brush in mauka areas between Kahoma and Launiupoko. It was considered 40% contained. Maui Fire Department helicopters will continue making water drops until nightfall. Ground crews will remain on the scene throughout the night.
Firefighting in the West Maui Mountains has been difficult because of steep (sometimes vertical) and rough terrain. Firefighters on the ground concentrated on securing the fire perimeter in areas accessible to firefighting vehicles.
There were no mandatory evacuations or fire-related road closures as of 4:30 p.m. today, according to the Maui Emergency Management Agency. However, residents should stay alert. A shelter location will be announced if and when evacuations are necessary.
MEMA remained partially activated today and continued to monitor the fire.
The brush fire was originally reported at 11:40 a.m. Tuesday in the area of Kauaula Valley.
Mayor Michael Victorino thanked residents for avoiding areas where firefighting operations are ongoing. “And, mahalo to our firefighters and community partners, including State of Hawaii Forestry personnel, Goodfellow Bros. and West Maui Land Co.,” he said.