Portion of Piilani Highway closed due to brush fire

Photo courtesy couvigriff via mauinow.com

photo courtesy mauinow.com

A portion of the Piilani Highway on Maui is closed due to a flare up of a brush fire in Kahikinui.

The highway is closed at milepost 20 near the Auwahi Windmills on the west side of the fire, and at milepost 27.5 near Manawainui Gulch on the east side.

At 11:11 a.m. Monday, firefighters responded to a flare up at the Kahikinui brush fire that burned 50 acres on Sunday.

At 1:15 p.m. Monday, the size of the flare up was estimated at around 40 additional acres, making the total so far scorched at 90 acres.

When Kula firefighters arrived at 11:46 a.m., around 20 acres of grass and brush was estimated on fire on the makai side of Piilani Highway near milepost 27.

At the moment, no structures are being threatened and no evacuations of Kahikinui Homesteads are anticipated.

Two helicopters are making water drops to prevent the fire from jumping the highway and spreading mauka. A battalion chief, along with engine companies and water tankers from Kula, Makawao, Kahului, and Wailea are battling the fire that is currently still contained to the makai side of Piilani Highway. Two bulldozers are on the way to help with cutting firebreaks.

The wind conditions are about 25 mph, however, the vegetation is still green so the fire is not moving as quickly.

The cause of the brush fire that began on Sunday afternoon remains under investigation.

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