Maui, Hawaii — The Department of Land and Natural Resources todaydeclared the upper Waiohuli Fire in the Kula Forest Reserve to be controlled.
The fire, which was ignited Jan. 23 by a discarded cigarette, consumedapproximately 1,800 acres of pine and sandalwood forest on the slopes ofHaleakala.
Rain over the last week “helped to cool hot spots and extinguish burningembers,” said DLNR chairman Peter Young.
“Although the fire is under control, there remains a high risk ofunderground burning, falling trees and weakened or hanging limbs in and aroundthe fire perimeter,” he said.
Because of the hazards, the Kula Forest Reserve, including the Ka’ono’uluRanch cooperative lease area, Polipoli Springs State Park, all Na Ala Heletrails in the area and the Waipoli access road, above the boundary gate, willremain closed to all activities, including hunting.
Young said 16 miles of hiking trails and approximately 6 miles of roads wereaffected by the forest fire, and burned trees are continuing to fall. The DLNRis assessing the need for timber salvage and to clear the area of hazardoustrees.
The department hopes to reopen the areas by May 1. DLNR’s Division of StateParks will cancel existing reservations and not issue new permits for the cabinat 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 includedputting in new water pipes.