Massive Brush Fire on Maui Threatening Homes, Multiple Communities Evacuated

Primus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
694

This is happening right now, fire broke out around 11am HST and is currently raging out of control. It's fanned by high (20-25mph) East winds and currently heading straight towards the town of Kihei, one of the major towns on the island.

Portions of Kihei and all of Maalaea have been ordered to evacuate, roads are closed, most of the rest of the island is covered by the smoke pall. It's crazy out there.

EDIT: Power outage at the Kahului International Airport, all flights are being diverted away.
 
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Blader

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,331
Oh jeez. Hope they get it under control soon.

Creepy timing, I'm actually going to be in Maui next week...
 
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Primus

Primus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
694
Damn. Where do you even evacuate to when on an island? I assume you have to evacuate off the whole island?
Kihei residents evacuated are heading farther south for the moment.

RIght now the fire is burning mostly old cane fields left fallow, but it's getting damn close to real houses now. Sky's gotten real eerie even where I am, way to the northeast and out of danger.
 

Thordinson

Member
Aug 1, 2018
1,280
I hope the fires get under control and everyone stays safe.

My gf is from and in Hawaii(Oahu). I'll need to check if she has family there. I think they are mostly on the Big Island.
 
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Primus

Primus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
694
We might be without power soon, the fire is threatening the main power plant on the island.
 
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Primus

Primus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
694
Firefighters are starting to get a handle on things, some of the roads have reopened and there's been no structures or lives lost so far. Fire is still burning in unincorporated areas and the winds keep shifting around so it's making it hard to really tamp the fire down.
 

professor_t

Member
Oct 27, 2017
306
I’m in Maui now. We’re miles away but ash is raining down on us. It’s kind of surreal.

However, the sun is burning like a red eye behind a haze of smoke, yielding one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen. It’s like the last gasp of a dying world.
 

NSA

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
2,317
California
That's crazy. How did it start? I remember last time we were there they were doing sugar cane burning when we went fishing.

We're supposed to be in Kihei this October, it's my favorite part of Maui. Hope everything and everyone is ok!
 

professor_t

Member
Oct 27, 2017
306
We were going to attend a luau in Lahaina, but I’m glad we rescheduled because we would have gotten trapped on the wrong side of the fire (we’re in Wailea right now).
 
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Primus

Primus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
694
We've been super hot and dry the last couple months after a very wet winter, so most of the island has been essentially dry tinder waiting to catch. Could easily have been road sparks or other accidental reasons.

That being said, we've had a bunch of smaller brush fires in the last couple weeks set by one or more firebugs, so it is entirely possible that this one started maliciously. Only reason I don't think it was arson is that it started in a completely different area than the previous fires.

Appreciate the good wishes, I'm up in Pukalani which is way out of the fire's path unless real crazy shit happens.
 
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Primus

Primus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
694
Official reports saying over 3000 acres burned now, but still no structures lost or injuries so continuing to be super lucky. Roads open and close as flare-ups happen, which is prolly going to be the status quo overnight. The main power plant is safe now, so that's a load off my mind.
 
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Primus

Primus

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Oct 25, 2017
694
Morning update: We're up to over 10,000 acres burned now, with the fire still burning out of control in unincorporated areas of the island. Things are returning to a semblance of normal although we're still pretty much blanketed in smoke. That could change as day breaks and the winds are supposed to climb back up to 20-25mph again, everyone's keeping a sharp eye out for further developments.
 
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Primus

Primus

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Oct 25, 2017
694


Thanks to the Pacific Disaster Center, this is a mostly-current map of the fire's spread through Central and South Maui. 60% contained at this time, but a second fire started just outside of Kahului earlier this afternoon and started burning south, that fire is only 35% contained.

EDIT: The Maui Police Department is treating the newer Kahului fire as deliberately set, and are looking for the arsonist.
 
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Primus

Primus

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Oct 25, 2017
694
Both fires are now mostly under control, the main one is at 80% contained and yesterday's smaller sub-fire is at 90% contained. There's still hotspots and the occasional flare-up (there was another one by the Humane Society earlier this afternoon), but we're all breathing a little bit easier on Maui tonight, quite literally. :)

Largest fire in Maui's history, and it's a solid miracle that there were zero injuries and damages are mainly relegated to small bits of farm equipment and abandoned structures.

Thanks for all the good wishes over the last 48 hours.