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Brush fire closes Honoapiilani Highway

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COURTESY FIRE CAPT. KAULANA KINO

A Maui firefighter is seen as flames burn brush near Honolua Bay early Saturday morning.

An early morning brush fire Saturday closed the Honoapiilani Highway near Honolua Bay for several hours as Maui firefighters struggled with steep terrain to control it.

The fire was one of two brush fires on Maui Saturday.

The Honlua Bay fire spread after a vehicle fire that was reported at 3:44 a.m.

Arriving firefighters found flames from the vehicle fire had spread to nearby brush and run up the side of a steep hill to old Maui Land & Pineapple fields.

The fire department helicopter began dropping water on the flames at about 7 a.m. as crews battled the fire from the highway and fought to contain the flames in steep terrain, which was near vertical in some areas.

Firefighters contained the fire at about noon, after it burned about 4 acres.

Crews were checking through the night to make sure the fire didn’t rekindle.

The other fire broke out at about 12:21 a.m. in a sugar cane field behind the Paia Gym on Baldwin Avenue.

Residents in Skill Village reported seeing an orange glow and hearing the crackling of fire.

Firefighters arrived at 12:35 a.m., brought the fire under control at 12:50 a.m. and extinguished it by 1:15 a.m.

About one acre of sugar cane burned above Paia Gym, on the Kahului side of Baldwin Avenue.

The cause of the fire is undetermined.

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