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Residents evacuated as Olowalu brush fire in West Maui grows to 500 acres

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An Olowalu brush fire in West Maui, fanned by winds 30 to 40 mph, has grown to about 500 acres and forced the evacuation of residents, the Maui Fire Department reported Sunday night.

About 50 fire personnel were protecting homes threatened by the fire around Luawai Street, Maui fire officials said.

The fire was first reported around 5:30 p.m. Sunday mauka of Olowalu Store, and by 9:15 p.m. had grown to 500 acres.

Traffic on Honoapiilani Highway is being contraflowed. Kahakuloa is limited to local traffic only. Maui Bus service in continuing except for those running between West Maui and Central Maui.

Residents can expect power outages.

Red Cross respite centers are set up at the Lahaina Civic Center, and at the Kihei Community Center. Restrooms are open, but because of COVID-19 health and safety protocols, people at the centers must remain in their vehicles.

The Department of Water Supply is asking customers in West Maui and Upcountry to conserve water use for the next 24 to 48 hours because of power outages and the brush fire. Residents should limit water consumption to necessary uses only, such as food preparation and bathing.

Due to power outages and the fire, the Lahaina Water Treatment Plant has been closed, the department reported Saturday night.

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