Hawaii Briefs 07-18-19

Emergency officials: Maui wildfires fully contained, arson suspect arrested

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

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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, 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 have arrested a man they say may have been responsible. Holden Bingham, 28, was arrested Monday on suspicion of first-degree arson and unauthorized control of a propelled motor vehicle.

Police say Bingham was released on those charges pending further investigation but is being held on unrelated arrest warrants.

Medical cannabis patients in Hawaii offered 2-year renewal

WAILUKU — Hawaii residents have been offered two-year renewals of their medical cannabis certification cards.

The Maui News reported Wednesday that the Hawaii Department of Health will allow the renewals beginning Thursday.

Officials say current medical cannabis cardholders can submit their two-year renewal applications through an online registration system.

Applicants must have a qualifying debilitating medical condition that is chronic and verified by a physician or advanced practice registered nurse.

Officials say patients must renew with the physician or nurse who issued a certification in a previous year.

The issuing medical professional must agree that a two-year renewal is in the best interest of the patient.

Registered patients may submit renewal applications online 60 days before their cards expire.

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Officials say registration fees are nonrefundable regardless of an application’s outcome.

From wire sources

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