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Maui officials: Haleakala wildfire 50% contained, forward progress stopped

COURTESY DLNR
                                Four engines, three wildland engines, 11 tankers, five dozers, two helicopters, MFD firing crew and a 27-person state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife’s wildland crew battled today’s fire.
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COURTESY DLNR

Four engines, three wildland engines, 11 tankers, five dozers, two helicopters, MFD firing crew and a 27-person state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife’s wildland crew battled today’s fire.

COURTESY DLNR
                                The Haleakala Crater Road Fire is 50% contained and Maui Fire Department officials said.
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COURTESY DLNR

The Haleakala Crater Road Fire is 50% contained and Maui Fire Department officials said.

COUNTY OF MAUI
                                The area highlighted yellow shows the area affected by the wildfire that has burned more than 400 acres on Crater Road on Maui today.
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COUNTY OF MAUI

The area highlighted yellow shows the area affected by the wildfire that has burned more than 400 acres on Crater Road on Maui today.

COURTESY DLNR
                                Four engines, three wildland engines, 11 tankers, five dozers, two helicopters, MFD firing crew and a 27-person state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife’s wildland crew battled today’s fire.
COURTESY DLNR
                                The Haleakala Crater Road Fire is 50% contained and Maui Fire Department officials said.
COUNTY OF MAUI
                                The area highlighted yellow shows the area affected by the wildfire that has burned more than 400 acres on Crater Road on Maui today.

UPDATED: 8 p.m.

The Maui Emergency Management Agency has lifted the emergency advisory for residents above Kekaulike and Haleakala highways between Upper Kimo and Waipoli roads.

Though evacuations are not expected, residents are asked to continue to monitor radio, TV and mobile devices for official information. With the advisory lifted, the next informational update on the fire is expected to be issued Friday morning.

The Haleakala Crater Road fire is 50% contained at 355 acres. Acreage of the fire decreased from 420 to 355 due to more accurate mapping assessments. Forward progress of the fire was stopped as of earlier this afternoon, according to the Maui Fire Department. No injuries or structural damages have been reported due to the fire.

Drones were deployed around 6:30 p.m. to survey the fire with a thermal lens, which better detects hot spots. Four engines, three wildland engines, 11 tankers, five dozers, two helicopters, MFD firing crew and a 27-person state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife’s wildland crew have been working throughout the day.

6 p.m.

The Haleakala Crater Road Fire is 50% contained and Maui Fire Department officials said that “forward progress of the fire has been stopped as of earlier this afternoon.”

The total burn area remains 420 acres and no injuries or structural damages have been reported due to the fire at the roughly 7,000-foot elevation, county officials said in their 5:30 p.m. update.

>> PHOTOS: Crews battle Haleakala wildfire

No evacuations have been ordered but “residents in the area must continue to remain vigilant as fire behavior can change quickly given the current weather conditions,” officials said.

Maui Emergency Management Agency officials encourage residents above Kekaulike and Haleakala highways between Upper Kimo and Waipoli roads to prepare for potential evacuation and monitor local media and mobile devices for official information.

MFD said crews will remain at the scene overnight “to monitor the situation, work on containment and extinguish hot spots.”

Crater Road and Haleakala National Park remain closed.

3 p.m.

As of 3 p.m., the fire has been 25% contained after burning 420 acres.

“While five helicopters are active, only two to three are flying due to fog and lower visibility. Dozers have successfully cut control lines around most of the perimeter and will continue this work,” according to a statement from Maui County.

No injuries or structural damages have been reported.

Maui County reports there are no concerns about the safety of drinking water for Upcountry residents due to the location of the fire uphill.

1 p.m.

Maui Mayor Richard Bissen, Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke, and Maui Emergency Management Agency administrator Amos Lonokauilua-Hewett held a press conference regarding the Haleakala Crater Road fire, which is about 15% contained at about 420 acres.

“On the brink of our one-year anniversary of our island’s wildfires I realize as a community we’re experiencing many different emotions,” said Maui Mayor Richard Bissen during the news conference. “Any fire can be very concerning and distressing to many of us. I want to assure you that the county and state are collectively working together to maximize our resources and most importantly to keep our communities safe.”

>> RELATED: Maui Mayor Bissen, officials give update on Crater Road wildfire

At this time, no injuries have been reported, and no structures have been damaged, he said.

“The primary focus for our multiple ground and air crews remains on stopping progress towards residences and building control lines,” he said. “At this time no evacuation orders have been issued.”

11 a.m.

As of 10 a.m. today, the Crater Fire road is now 15% contained after burning 420 acres.

“While weather conditions are dangerous for fires (temperature is up and relative humidity is down), progress is being made with dozers and air assets,” Maui County officials said in a statement. “Dozers have successfully cut control line around approximately 35% of the fire and will continue this work. No injuries and structural damages have been reported due to the fire, which is located at about 7,000-foot elevation.”

There are currently four Maui County fire engines, three wildland engines, five dozers, five helicopters and MFD firing crew along with 27 members of the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildfire attacking the fire.

“Although no evacuation orders have been issued for the Haleakala Crater Road Fire, Maui Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) continues to encourage residents — above Kekaulike and Haleakala highways between Upper Kimo and Waipoli roads — to prepare for potential evacuation and monitor radio, TV and mobile devices for official information,” according to a statement.

9:15 a.m.

Maui County officials revised their estimate of acreage burned in the Crater Road fire this morning but urged all residents in the area to prepare for a possible evacuation.

“The Crater Road fire is 10% contained at 410 acres as of 6:15 this morning,” the Maui Fire Department said in an update today. “The focus for multiple ground and air crews remains on stopping progress toward residences and building control lines.”

“Multiple MFD ground units, state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife, National Parks firefighting crews, five dozers and three helicopters are currently responding to the fire,” county officials said.

Meanwhile, the Maui Emergency Management Agency is encouraging residents in affected areas — above Kekaulike and Haleakala highways between Upper Kimo and Waipoli roads — “to prepare for potential evacuation and monitor radio, TV and mobile devices for official information.”

The approximately 150 to 200 vehicles above the affected area have been safely released, officials said.

No injuries have been reported and no structures have been damaged in the fire as of 9 a.m. today.

At 7:20 a.m., Maui Mayor Richard Bissen signed an emergency proclamation in response to the Crater Road fire.

“This proclamation authorizes the County to access federal assistance programs for individuals and public infrastructure, including funds for emergency response efforts to ensure continued and effective countywide response,” Bissen’s office said in an email.

6:15 a.m.

The Maui wildfire grew to about 500 acres overnight but it is not threatening any homes and no evacuation orders have been given, Maui County officials said.

In addition to previously announced closures and the closure of Haleakala National Park, access to sunrise viewing and the campgrounds at Hosmer’s Grove has been closed as well.

The 150 to 200 vehicles about the road closure are in the process of being systematically released for safe exit, officials said in a news release early this morning.

The fire is continuing to move southeast with wind speed holding steady at about 40 mph, officials said.

In response to the fire, officially named the Crater Road Fire, the Maui Emergency Management Agency Emergency Operations Center was partially activated at 8:02 p.m. Wednesday.

Unified Command was subsequently established between MEMA, the Maui Police Department, the Maui Fire Department and Haleakala National Park at 10:35 p.m., officials said.

In response to the Crater Road Fire, Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke, as acting governor, early this morning signed an emergency proclamation authorizing the activation of the Hawaii National Guard for disaster relief and prohibiting price gouging on Maui, while also prohibiting unsolicited real estate purchase offers in Lahaina and Kula.

Lahaina and Kula were ravaged by wildfire in August 2023.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE

A wildfire on the slopes of Haleakala burned about 300 acres Wednesday night, closed Crater Road and access to Haleakala National Park’s summit but is not threatening any homes, Maui County officials said.

The Maui Emergency Management Agency was activated at 8:02 p.m. after the Crater Road Fire closed the road between mile markers 8 and 10.

“Approximately 150-200 cars are located above the road closure for safety precautions, and emergency personnel are actively working to identify and accommodate basic needs for those affected,” officials said in a news release late Wednesday night.

By 10:35 p.m., a Unified Command was established between MEMA, Maui Police Department, Maui Fire Department and Haleakala National Park, officials said.

They said the wildfire was moving southeast and the wind speed was about 40 mph.

“No homes or structures have been impacted, and no evacuation orders have been given at this time,” county officials said in the release.

They announced that access to the summit of Haleakala will be closed Thursday “due to safety concerns and the expected continuation of the road closure through the night.”

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