Maui Fire Unleashes Devastating Wildfires, Forcing Desperate Escapes into the Ocean – Live Coverage

All roads in Lahaina town have been closed, and no traffic is being allowed into West Maui except for emergency personnel, according to a county alert issued shortly before 4 a.m. Wednesday. Several villages in Hawaii were forced to evacuate on Wednesday due to wildfires that were fanned by high winds and destroyed numerous buildings, including the historic Lahaina town. Rescue workers also plucked a dozen people who had fled the smoke and flames into the ocean.

According to a statement from the County of Maui, the U.S. Coast Guard reacted to places where people entered the ocean to flee the fire and smoke. A crew pulled 12 individuals from the water off Lahaina, according to a tweet from the Coast Guard.

The county tweeted that several Lahaina roads were closed along with the caution, “Do NOT go to Lahaina town.” According to Mahina Martin, a spokeswoman for the County of Maui, there was widespread fire in Lahaina, includin Front Street, a tourist-friendly portion of the town. Officials encouraged anyone who wasn’t in an evacuation area to remain in place to avoid contributing to the traffic as people attempted to flee, she said.

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According to the National Weather Service, Hurricane Dora, which was passing safely 500 miles (805 kilometers) to the south of the island chain, was partially to blame for gusts over 60 mph (97 kph), which caused power outages as night fell, shook residences, and grounded firefighting helicopters. According to the weather service, dangerous fire conditions brought on by strong winds and low humidity were forecast to persist into Wednesday afternoon.

Homes were demolished and hundreds of people were rescued in Maui

80 people were evacuated from 40 residences in the Kula district of Maui, according to the mayor of Maui, Richard Bissen, on Tuesday.

He pointed out that fighting the fires was most difficult because of the strong gusts, which make it dangerous for helicopters to drop water. Approximately 400 homes in four settlements in the island’s north were evacuated on Tuesday, according to Big Island Mayor Mitch Roth. He claimed that one roof had burned down.

He claimed that a fire that burned across around 1,100 acres destroyed at least two residences.

There have been no reported injuries in the wildfires.

Mahina Martin, a spokeswoman for Maui County, said in a phone interview early on Wednesday that there had been no reported fatalities and only one injury, involving a fireman who was hospitalized and in stable condition after suffering from smoke inhalation. There is no estimate of how many buildings have been damaged by the fires or how many people have had to evacuate, but she said that four shelters are operational, with the largest holding more than 1,000 people.

She remarked that the situation was “so unprecedented,” noting that various districts were impacted. She claimed that experiencing an emergency at night is terrifying because it is difficult to determine the depth of the harm.

Bus service has been suspended due to fires

On Wednesday, a number of transportation services were impacted by the wildfires.

The county announced in a public notice that Lahaina Islander Route #20, Lahaina Villager Route #23, Kaanapali Islander Route #25, and West Maui Islander Route #28 were discontinued until further notice.

Trips to, from, and within West Maui on the Maui Bus, ADA Paratransit Service, and MEO Human Service Transportation were also halted.

The county said that “all Bus Commuter Services will be suspended until further notice.”

On Wednesday in Maui, schools were closed.

Due to the expanding brush fires and evacuations on Maui, schools were closed on Wednesday.

Princess Nahi’ena’ena Elementary, King Kamehameha III Elementary, Lahaina Intermediate, and Lahainaluna High have all closed in West Maui.

Kihei Elementary, Lokelani Intermediate, Kamali’i Elementary, and Klanihko’i High are among the South Maui schools that have closed.

King Kekaulike High was closed in Upcountry Maui, while High was being used as an evacuation shelter in Central Maui.

Hawaiians who fled to the water to escape wildfires were rescued.

According to reports that panicked inhabitants fled into the ocean to escape the fires raging throughout the island of Maui, several individuals were rescued from the waters off the shore of that island.

Twelve individuals were saved close to Lahaina by a 45-foot response boat from the Coast Guard’s Station, according to a tweet from the U.S. Coast Guard.

According to a public warning from Maui County, “The Coast Guard is responding to affected areas where people have entered the ocean due to hazardous fire and smoke conditions.” “The Coast Guard transported individuals to safe areas. On Wednesday, wildfires were still raging throughout the Big Island and Maui.

The western portion of Maui has no 911 service.

First responders encountered a challenge while battling the wildfires raging since 911 service was interrupted early on Wednesday.

At 6 a.m. ET (midnight local time), Maui County posted on social media that the service was down in the west part of the island.

In case of an emergency, locals are advised to contact the Lahaina Police Department directly.

Before people came, fires were uncommon in Hawaii and other tropical islands, and native ecosystems evolved without them. This means that when flames start, significant environmental harm may result. For instance, fires destroy plant life. Heavy rains that come after a fire may wash loose soil into the water, smothering coral reefs there.

In 2021, a large fire on the Big Island destroyed homes and led to the evacuation of thousands of people.

According to Adam Weintraub, the director of communications for the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, power outages, downed power lines, and traffic issues were also present on the island of Oahu, where Honolulu is situated.


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