Fire prompts evacuation

  • Tony Howland / Contributed photo

    Flames can be seen approaching the Poipu Bypass intersection late Tuesday afternoon.

  • Caleb Loehrer / The Garden Island

    A helicopter crew battles a blaze on the South Shore Tuesday afternoon.

A brush fire near Mahaulepu forced an evacuation of several homes Tuesday afternoon.

Police closed Ala Kinoiki Road (from Poipu Road to Weliweli Road), and Old Mill Road, according to the county, and evacuated residents on Kipuka Street and Weliweli Tract in Koloa.

No structures were damaged as of about 7 p.m., but windy conditions made the blaze difficult to control.

“We saw it jump the road and just go,” said a witness.

Thick black smoke blotted out the sun.

“It was crazy,” the witness said.

The fire broke out about 3 p.m. About five helicopters were rotating in and making water drops into the brown and gray smoke while firefighters continued a ground attack below.

Helicopters also dropped water on structures in the area as a protection measure.

The fire reportedly later broke into two sections, with one creeping toward the CJM Country Stables while another was near the Koloa bypass road.

A video at 3:43 p.m. recorded a person saying of the fire, “That thing just crossed the road.”

Police were warning people to stay away from the area.

“If you’re going to the Hyatt, turn around,” said a voice on a megaphone from a passenger window of a passing police car as tourists and locals gathered to watch the fire.

  1. harryoyama June 12, 2019 1:48 pm Reply

    Sounds like you’ve got a fire bug setting those fires. At least it’s job security for those fire fighters who need the exercise since most of the time they are sleeping for the next call

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