UPDATE: 7:15 a.m.
The approximately 3,000-acre Haliimaile fire on Maui does not pose an immediate threat but firefighters cut a firebreak to protect residents a half-mile away in the Skill Village in Paia
The Maui Fire Department said residents should remain vigilant but there is no need to evacuate. Firefighters remain on the scene.
Haleakala Highway remains closed from Hana Highway to Old Haleakala Highway. Haliimaile Road also remains closed.
“Mahalo to our first responders for their tireless efforts to protect our community,” Mayor Michael Victorino said in a statement. “Please remember to stay safe and stay away from the area for everyone’s safety.”
Residents in the area of Skill Village in Paia are to prepare for possible evacuation due to the Haliimaile fire.
The fire is about 2,500 to 3,000 acres in size and around a half-mile away. Winds are currently blowing away from the area, but Skill Village residents should be prepared to evacuate immediately if wind conditions change.
Haleakala Highway remains closed from Hana Highway to Old Haleakala Highway. Haliimaile Road also remains closed. The public should stay away from the area.
The Emergency Operations Center has been activated and Maui Emergency Management Agency is closely monitoring the situation. The American Red Cross also is standing by to provide assistance.
“I want all the residents of Skill Village to prepare their family, children and pets for possible evacuation,” Mayor Michael Victorino said. “Our fire crews continue to work hard trying to control the fire and slow its spread. All residents should avoid the area to protect the safety of themselves and our first responders.”
A large brush fire fanned by strong tradewinds was expected to continue burning overnight below Haliimaile on the lower slopes of Haleakala.
At least 1,900 acres had burned, according to the Maui Fire Department. Forty firefighters worked to contain the blaze today with assistance from three helicopters, along with bulldozers and water tankers supplied by private companies. The heavy equipment was used to cut fire breaks.
The fire started in Kailua Gulch near a gun range. Haliimaile Road and Haleakala Highway from Hana Highway to Makani Road were closed in both directions and the HC&D quarry and Central Maui Landfill were evacuated as a precaution, as winds of 20 mph and higher gusts buffeted the area throughout the day, MFD said.
The cause of the fire has not been determined.