As flames lept 100 feet into the air we watched in fear and horor as the Maui Fire Department and the Kahalui Airport Fire Department fought for 10 hours to bring the blaze under control.
One resident was evacuated but no structures were lost. There was some roof damage because of flying embers….a lucky escape indeed.
Marvin Moniz, the airport district manager said that the fire next to the airport’s main 7,000-foot runway was not significantly affecting airport operations.
While winds gusting at 35 to 40 mph blew smoke away from the airfield and the airport terminal they also fanned the flames and caused the fire to spread rapidly through the dense undergrowth and pine trees.
Smoke and ash were being carried toward Kahului, Wailuku and Waiehu, making those areas of Central Maui hazy. In fact you can see the effect from our Kanaha cam replay stream just before it goes off line.
The fire was reported at 10:18 a.m., and after 1 p.m. it was estimated to have blackened 15 to 20 acres, although dense smoke made it difficult to accurately determine the blaze’s size.
Airport rescue fire crews were assisting Maui firefighters from Kahului, Paia, Lahaina, Wailea, Kihei and Makawao. The Fire Department’s Air One helicopter was making water drops with another helicopter, and bulldozers and water tankers from the county Department of Public Works also were helping to fight the blaze.
At 8 pm we heard the last of these vehicles leave the site. In all it took 10 hours to extinguish the blaze.
We would like to thank the men and women of the fire departments, police and other services who fought to bring this situation under control and save what could have been a disaster for many of the residents and visitors of this neighborhood.