Two brushfires that broke out earlier today in the Kalamaula area is currently affecting phone service for Molokai and Lanai.
The Maui Fire Department says the brushfires, which were reported at 1:34 p.m., knocked out 911 service until it was rerouted at about 3:20 p.m. There were two fires in different locations. The first fire was located along Maunaloa Highway, mile marker 3 and burned approximately 5,000 square feet. The second fire was reported about a quarter of a mile past the first, heading in the airport direction, and burned an estimated 15 to 20 acres.
According to a Hawaii Telcom spokesperson contacted at 4:45 p.m., a helicopter was flying in technicians to the scene and was expected to land by 5 p.m. As of 5:15 p.m. land line phone service for many customers was still out as a result of the fire. Hawaii Telcom was uncertain as to how many people were affected.
The fire, makai of Maunaloa Highway near the Molokai Landfill, forced the Molokai Police Department to close the highway in both directions between the intersection of Kalae Highway down to Likelike Road.
While many businesses were unable to handle credit card transactions, Rawlins Chevron was still able to accept cards because of its satellite Internet connection.
The Hawaiian Telcom spokesperson said I would be notified by cell phone when service was returned.
This blog will be updated as events progress.
Hawaiian Telcom called back at 8:38 a.m. Wednesday to notify that all repairs have been made and all phone lines are now working properly.