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Maui brush fire burns nearly 600 acres

  • COURTESY MAUI FIRE DEPARTMENT
                                Today’s brush fire is seen from Holomua Road in Paia.

    COURTESY MAUI FIRE DEPARTMENT

    Today’s brush fire is seen from Holomua Road in Paia.

A brush fire scorched at least 578 acres and closed Baldwin Avenue in Paia this afternoon, the Maui County Fire Department reported.

The blaze, first reported at 1:07 p.m. near Holomua Road, forced the evacuation of a few structures near Baldwin Avenue, but no injuries or property damage were reported.

The fire burned behind Doris Todd Christian Academy and moved makai, the Maui Fire Department reported. Two helicopters – Air 1 and 2 – were making water drops while firefighters on the ground were with Engine 2 from Paia, Engine 10 from Kahului and Engine 5 from Makawao.

Engine 14 from Wailea and Engine 6 from Kihei also responded to the fire, along with a battalion chief. Private water tanker crews were assisting.

Mayor Michael Victorino asked residents and visitors to stay out of the area.

“I thank firefighters, police, private water tanker crews and other first responders for acting quickly in responding to this blaze,” Victorino said.

For a time, Skill Village residents in Paia were being asked to stay in their homes to keep roadways clear for emergency vehicles and because of thick smoke on Baldwin Avenue. Police officers also responded to medical calls from people with breathing problems from the heavy smoke.

Baldwin Avenue reopened in the afternoon but remains closed between Paia Elementary and Skill Village.

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