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County requests immediate water conservation measures

By Staff | Dec 27, 2020

WAILUKU — The County of Maui Department of Water Supply is asking customers in West Maui and Upcountry to conserve water use for the next 24 to 48 hours because of power outages and the ongoing Olowalu brush fire.

Due to power outages and the fire, the Lahaina Water Treatment Plant has been closed, the department reported Saturday night.

The department asks West Maui and Upcountry residents to limit water consumption to necessary uses only, such as food preparation and bathing.

The department apologizes for any inconvenience. For emergency updates, call 270-7633.

Maui police reopened Honoapiilani Highway to contraflow traffic after 12:15 a.m. today, after a fast-moving brush fire closed the highway for several hours on Saturday night.

Earlier, from shortly after 11 p.m. to almost 11:50 p.m. Saturday, police escorted groups of 20 to 30 motorists on the highway from West to Central Maui.

The wildfire has been fanned by strong 30- to 40-mph northwest winds. It was last reported to have grown to an estimated 500 acres, according to the Maui Fire Department.

Mayor Michael Victorino inspected the fire scene and credited Maui firefighters and police for their work to protect lives and property.

“Maui firefighters and police are doing a fabulous job under very difficult conditions with high winds and steep, difficult-to-reach terrain,” Mayor Victorino said.

“I thank the public for being patient during this highway closure, and we hope to reopen the roadway for contraflow traffic as soon as possible. Please avoid the Olowalu fire area as much as possible.”

Honoapiilani Highway was closed at Maalaea, and vehicle access to Kahakuloa was limited to local traffic only.

Maui Bus service continued on all routes, except for buses running between West Maui and Central Maui.

The fire was first reported at 5:30 p.m. Saturday mauka of Olowalu Store in West Maui. About 50 Maui Fire Department personnel were on scene protecting homes threatened by flames in the vicinity of Luawai Street in Olowalu area. Police evacuated all the residents from homes on Luawai Street.