Fast-moving brush fire sends nearly 500 to shelters

  • In this Oct. 2, 2109 photo a helicopter pilot drops a load of water on a wildfire high in the West Maui Mountains above Maalaea on the island of Maui, Hawaii. Thousands of acres of brush burned and blocked off the main access road between the resorts on the west side of the island and Central Maui where Kahului Airport is located. (Matthew Thayer/The News via AP)

  • In this Oct. 2, 2109 photo, a wildfire above Maalaea blackened the slopes of the West Maui Mountains on the island of Maui, Hawaii . Parched conditions and whipping winds fueled the fast-moving blaze, which started high on the mountain and closed Honoapiilani Highway on the pali. The fire had burned 4,100 acres by nightfall. (Matthew Thayer/The News via AP)

LAHAINA — Nearly 500 people took shelter after strong winds fueled a fast-moving brush fire in the steep mountains above the Maui community of Maalaea.

The Maui News reports the fire burned more than 6 square miles (16 sq. kilometers), but no injuries were reported in the Wednesday blaze.

Maui County spokesman Christopher Sugidono says about 450 people took shelter at Maui High School and another 22 sheltered at Princess Nahienaena Elementary School, both in Lahaina. The shelters closed Thursday morning, and both schools were to be open as normal.

Sugidono said fire size and containment figures will be updated later Thursday.

Fire crews were attending to hot spots along Honoapiilani Highway and helping protect Maalaea, located about 15 miles (24 kilometers) southeast of Lahaina.

  1. harry oyama October 3, 2019 4:14 pm Reply

    Looks like Maui has a firebug who delights in watching your firefighter for once do an honest day’s work. Keep it going for a couple months and Maui will have the most in shape firefighters in the nation. But don’t tell that to Katherine Kealoha, she may want another date while in prison.

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