By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor
Fire personnel continued to battle a fire in wooded areas of Ho’olehua last week after it was first reported on Sunday, April 16. The small fire was located about two to three miles north of the Ho’olehua Cemetery, according to Fire Services Chief Rylan Yatsushiro of the Maui Fire Department.
The fire was in an area inaccessible by vehicle, so the department utilized air support to make water drops by helicopter. Initial efforts contained the fire but there were many spots that continued smoldering, said Yatsushiro.
“Because much of the smoldering spots were located under the ironwood canopy, we airlifted crews to the scene where they were able to conduct much needed mop-up operations,” he said.
Those efforts took place over several days, from Sunday, April 23, to Tuesday, April 25. On Sunday, two choppers were flying between Kualapu’u Reservoir, where they filled up water, and the fire site making water drops.
Rain in the area in the days following brought a halt to continued operations last week.
As of April 25, about two acres of vegetation and ironwood debris had burned, MFD reported.
“We are hoping that the rains will sustain and help extinguish all of the smoldering spots,” said Yatsushiro last week. “We will continue monitoring the situation. The fire is considered contained, and not expected to be a threat to any structures or property at this time.”
Yatsushiro said no cause of the fire had been determined.