Updated at 3:18 p.m., Tuesday, February 6, 2007
Forest fire at Maui forest declared under control
Advertiser StaffWAILUKU, Maui The Department of Land and Natural Resources today declared the upper Waiohuli Fire in the Kula Forest Reserve to be controlled.
The fire, which was ignited Jan. 23 by a discarded cigarette, consumed approximately 1,800 acres of pine and sandalwood forest on the slopes of Haleakala.
Rain over the last week "helped to cool hot spots and extinguish burning embers," said DLNR chairman Peter Young.
"Although the fire is under control, there remains a high risk of underground burning, falling trees and weakened or hanging limbs in and around the fire perimeter," he said.
Because of the hazards, the Kula Forest Reserve, including the Ka'ono'ulu Ranch cooperative lease area, Polipoli Springs State Park, all Na Ala Hele trails in the area and the Waipoli access road, above the boundary gate, will remain closed to all activities, including hunting.
Young said 16 miles of hiking trails and approximately 6 miles of roads were affected by the forest fire, and burned trees are continuing to fall. The DLNR is assessing the need for timber salvage and to clear the area of hazardous trees.
The department hopes to reopen the areas by May 1. DLNR's Division of State Parks will cancel existing reservations and not issue new permits for the cabin at Polipoli until the reserve is reopened and the access road can be made safe.
An assessment has been done and needed repairs were completed, which included putting in new water pipes.