REPORT FROM MAUI COUNTY – WAILUKU, Maui, Hawai`i – The County of Maui Department of Fire and Public Safety is asking for the public’s help in identifying the person or persons involved in the setting of eight unscheduled cane field fires over the last two months.
The fires first began in May with the latest taking place Monday afternoon. Most of the fires took place in easily accessible areas. So far the fires have caused no injuries although Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company has reported losing an estimated $182,500 in sugar crop.
During Sunday’s fire in Kuau, flames were close to homes and forced the evacuation of Mama’s Fish House across the street. The unscheduled cane fires so far have consumed about 42 and a half acres. The list of fires so far are:
· 5/19 at 2:35 p.m. along Holomua Road near Makawao Union Church
· 6/1 there were two fires, one at 8:23 p.m. along Holomua Road in two different areas 150 feet apart and the other at 10 p.m. near Kama’aina Road and Mokulele Highway
· 6/13 there were three fires in the same day; the first at 10:57 p.m. near Honoapiilani Highway, south of the Waikapu on 30 restaurant, the second at 11:44 p.m. along Pulehu Road, about a mile above the landfill and the third at 12:11 a.m. along Kuihelani Highway, about 200 yards east of the Maui Lani Parkway intersection
· 6/16 at 12:45 p.m. along Hana Highway, across the street from Mama’s Fish House
· 6/18 at 1:40 p.m. along North Kihei Road near the parking triangle
The cause of the fires so far are undetermined, however fire department officials believe the fires may have been intentionally set because there are no obvious points of ignition, such as downed power lines, lightning strikes or campfires. Maui Police have begun investigating several of the fires as felony First Degree Criminal Property Damage cases.
For members of the public with information about the fires please call the public number for the Maui Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division at 244-6425.