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Maui brush fire threatened highway between Lahaina and Kahului

Maui firefighters mopped up today after a brush fire thatthreatened to close the main highway between Lahaina and Kahului.

Firefighters were extinguishing whatever was left of the brush fire that burned 15 acres of land in the Olowalu-Ukumehame area of west Maui on Wednesday, Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto said.

Maui County issued an advisory at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday saying it might have to close Honoapiilani Highway, the main artery between Lahaina and Kahului, but the firefighters gained an upper hand on the fire by 10:45 a.m., Taomoto said.

Firefighters took about 10 hours to contain 80 percent of the fire by 6 p.m. Wednesday and maintained a watch overnight.

Two helicopters dropped water on the fire to prevent its advance toward the main highway.

Bulldozers and water tankers from Maui County Public Works, West Maui Land Co., and Goodfellow Bros. Inc. assisted in making firebreaks and shuttling water for helicopter dip tanks.

Fire crews from Lahaina, Napili, Kihei, Wailea and Kahului responded to the fire.

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