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Firefighters discover body at site of Olowalu brush fire

By Staff | Mar 17, 2016

OLOWALU – On Friday, March 12, at approximately 2:10 a.m., emergency crews from Lahaina responded to reports of a brushfire at Mile Post 17 of Honoapiilani Highway at Olowalu between the Olowalu dump site and Kaiheleku-Launiupoko.

The first crew on-scene, Engine 3, discovered a brush fire in light grassy fuels with a mix of kiawe trees on the mauka side of the highway. Additional resources were called in, because the fire was spreading fast due to strong winds.

Fire crews from Napili, Kahului, Wailuku and Wailea fire stations also responded. West Maui Land Company and the county Public Works Department also offered assistance.

Police closed the highway for about an hour in the initial phase of the fire.

As of 7:30 a.m. Friday, approximately eight acres of brush along the highway had burned. The fire was 100 percent contained with hot spots in the middle areas of the burn.

During mop-up operations at the site, fire crews discovered a body laying beside a burned-out truck. The vehicle and body appeared to have been burned as a result of the brush fire, but the actual cause of death of the unidentified person is pending autopsy results.

The cause of the brush fire is still undetermined. At press time, Maui Police Department had not released information on the unidentified person.

There were no injuries to report and no structures threatened by the fire.