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Apparent arsonist keeps Maui firefighters busy before dawn

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Firefighters extinguished eight different brush fires that appeared to be intentionally set in the Lahaina area early this morning.

The brush fires were close to each other, and occurred within about an hour of each other, Maui Fire Chief Lee Mainaga said. There was no damage to property, he said.

The first crew went out at 3:37 a.m. when a brush fire was reported near the Lahaina bypass and Keawe Street, Mainaga said.

Firefighters discovered three separate grass fires in the area — a second one about a quarter mile to the south on Lahaina bypass and a third a mile south of it. The blazes ranged from 50-by-200 feet to 150-by-150 feet.

Seven minutes after firefighters responded to the first call, another brush fire was reported at 3:44 a.m. on the mauka side of Honoapiilani Highway. Then, at 4:19 a.m., another brush fire report came in and three separate fires were found above Leialii Parkway.

At 4:48 another alarm came in about a brush fire above Wahikuli Road, which was about 50 feet from nearby homes.

All eight fires were extinguished by 6:09 a.m. and fire inspectors are investigating, according to Mainaga.

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