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Emergency officials say 2 Hawaii wildfires fully contained

July 17, 2019

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) — Two wildfires that burned large areas of a Hawaiian island have been fully contained, officials said.

Maui Mayor Michael Victorino announced fires in central and south Maui and in a separate northern coastal area were contained Monday, The Maui News reported .

“Words cannot express how relieved I am that there were no injuries or major property damage from what were dangerous, fast-moving fires that required evacuations and road closures,” Victorino said.

Firefighters will continue mop-up work until the fires are declared extinguished, officials said.

The fires may continue to smolder for a week and crews were expected to monitor burn areas and put out hotspots with a dedicated emergency call-back crew available, Maui County officials said.

“We would like to ask the public to please stay out of all burned areas due to hazards sometimes not clearly visible,” said Fire Services Chief Rylan Yatsushiro. “Hazards such as hotspots and underground voids exist. These voids are caused by roots and root balls burning under ground level.”

Air quality improved Monday compared to late Sunday when windblown dust and ash enveloped parts of central and south Maui, officials said.

The first fire was reported Thursday morning and eventually burned 14 square miles (36 square kilometers), officials said.

The second fire in the Kahului area was reported early Friday afternoon and burned 200 acres (0.31 square miles or 0.8 square kilometers), officials said.

Police have classified the second fire as an arson case and are looking for a truck seen leaving the area.

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Information from: The Maui News, http://www.mauinews.com

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