- Associated Press - Monday, March 27, 2017

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) - Residents in central Maui are being asked to conserve water as a large brush fire has affected one of the area’s primary wells.

The county Department of Water Supply announced the conservation order Sunday for Waihee, Waiehu, Happy Valley, Wailuku, Waikapu and Kahului. Residents of the communities are urged to conserve water while crews access the well site and assess the damage.

The fire broke out Sunday afternoon and it is still unclear what sparked the flames.

Ekolu Furtado told Hawaii News Now he spotted the fire on his way in to work.

“It wasn’t just like one small brush fire, it was one raging fire,” Furtado said. “The wind today was real strong. I don’t know if that was helping it out at all.”

Firefighters have been battling the blaze both on the ground and from the air.

Maui Electric Company had reported that Mokuhau and Wailuku were experiencing a power outage and that the company was working with the Maui Fire Department to restore service as soon as possible.

Wailuku resident Becky Nobriga said she heard “a loud boom” before her electricity went out for less than a minute and then turned back on.

“That’s when we noticed there was smoke coming from the back, and by the time we got out onto our balcony, there was a big fire already,” Nobriga told KHON-TV.

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