Maui wildfires – latest news: Devastating wildfire sweeps through historic town of Lahaina and kills at least 6

Brush Fires Rage In Hawaii

At least six people have died in wildfires raging on the Hawaiian island of Maui, mayor Richard Bissen Jr has said.

Several others are unaccounted for while hospitals on Maui are overwhelmed by burn and smoke inhalation victims, officials added.

Mr Bissen Jr said the fatalities had been confirmed moments before a news conference on Wednesday.

“I’m sad to report that just before coming on this, it was confirmed we’ve had six fatalities. We are still in search and rescue mode.”

Search and rescue teams are struggling to reach parts of Maui cut off by three out-of-control blazes.

More than 2,100 people were housed across four emergency shelters on Wednesday evening, state officials said.

Wildfires whipped up by strong winds from Hurricane Dora have destroyed homes, knocked out 911 and cell services, and forced residents to flee into the ocean.


Fires feared to be Hawaii’s worst natural disaster since Hurricane Iniki in 1992

The fires are now feared to be Hawaii’s worst natural disaster since 1992’s Hurricane Iniki, which killed six people and caused $3.1bn in damage, according to Hawaiian News Now.

Evacuations are underway across Maui and Big Island after wildfires destroyed buildings, cut off power to 15,000 residents and burned through thousands of acres.

Governor Josh Brown, who is expected back in Hawaii on Wednesday night, said in a statement he was anticipating fatalities on Maui.

Bevan Hurley10 August 2023 06:00


Vacationers head to airport as wildfires take over Hawaii

After arriving on Maui, Vancouver residents Trevor Gurnsey and Shannon Gurnsey receive news that their home in West Maui possibly burned down this morning due to wildfires driven by high winds across Maui, at Kahului, Hawaii, U.S. August 9, 2023


After arriving on Maui, Vancouver residents Trevor Gurnsey and Shannon Gurnsey receive news that their home in West Maui possibly burned down this morning due to wildfires driven by high winds across Maui, at Kahului, Hawaii, U.S. August 9, 2023


In this photo provided by Brantin Stevens, smoke fill the air from wild fires at Lahaina harbor on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023 in Hawaii


With all of their belongings left at their hotel, Cincinnati residents Jolie Campbell and Conner Campbell await a flight to leave Maui after fleeing west Maui due to wildfires driven by high winds which were believed to have destroyed a large part of the historic town of Lahaina, in Kahului, Hawaii, U.S. August 9, 2023


Gustaf Kilander10 August 2023 05:00


Wildfires sent Hawaiians fleeing into the ocean. It could be the state’s worst natural disaster in decades

Wildfires raging out of control in Hawaii have caused large numbers of burn and smoke inhalation injuries, knocked out 911 and cell services, forced residents to escape into the ocean, and brought down power to thousands of homes, officials say.

Several large fires on Maui and the Big Island, partly fuelled by strong winds from Hurricane Dora, have destroyed dozens of homes and businesses and completely cut off affected areas.

Acting governor Sylvia Luke has issued an emergency proclamation and pleaded with federal officials to declare an emergency.

Read more:

Bevan Hurley10 August 2023 04:00


Satellite images shows spread of wildfires

A satellite image shows wildfires in Maui, Hawaii, U.S., August 8, 2023


A satellite image shows wildfires in Maui, Hawaii, U.S., August 8, 2023


In this image obtained from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Shows wildfires on the west coast of Maui (C L) in Hawaii, on August 9, 2023


Gustaf Kilander10 August 2023 03:15


Fires killed six people on the island of Maui

Crews on Maui were battling multiple blazes concentrated in two areas: the tourist destination of West Maui and an inland, mountainous region. In West Maui, 911 service was out and residents were directed to call the police department directly.

The National Weather Service said Hurricane Dora, which was passing to the south of the island chain at a safe distance of 500 miles (805 kilometers), was partly to blame for gusts above 60 mph (97 kph) that knocked out power, rattled homes and grounded firefighting helicopters. Aircraft resumed flights Wednesday as the strong winds diminished somewhat.

The Coast Guard on Tuesday rescued 14 people including two children, who had fled into the ocean to escape the fire and smoky conditions, the county said in a statement.

Fires killed six people on the island of Maui, Lahaina Town Mayor Richard Bissen Jr. said during a Wednesday morning news conference. He said he had just learned the news and didn’t know the details of how or where on the island the deaths happened.

Six patients were flown from Maui to the island of Oahu on Tuesday night, said Speedy Bailey, regional director for Hawaii Life Flight, an air-ambulance company. Three of them had critical burns and were taken to Straub Medical Center’s burn unit, he said. The others were taken to other Honolulu hospitals. At least 20 patients were taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center, he said. He had not heard of any deaths.

Authorities said earlier Wednesday that a firefighter in Maui was hospitalized in stable condition after inhaling smoke.


People in Hawaii flee into ocean to escape wildfire destroying historic Maui tourist town

A wildfire tore through the heart of Maui on Wednesday with alarming speed and ferocity, destroying dozens of homes and businesses in a historic tourist town, killing at least six people and injuring at least two dozen others, and forcing panicked residents to jump into the ocean to flee the flames.

Fire was widespread in Lahaina Town, including on Front Street, a popular shopping and dining area, County of Maui spokesperson Mahina Martin said by phone early Wednesday.

Photos posted by the county overnight showed a line of flames blazing across an intersection and leaping above buildings in the town center that dates to the 1700s and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Aerial video from after sunrise revealed entire blocks of buildings reduced to ash and thick smoke in the air.

“Do NOT go to Lahaina Town,” the county tweeted hours before all roads in and out of West Maui’s biggest community were closed to everyone except emergency personnel. More than 2,100 people spent the night in evacuation centers.


Maui and Big Island face evacuations as Hurricane Dora fuels wildfires

Unprecedented wildfires are burning across the Hawaiian islands, prompting mass evacuations and power outages. Late 8 August, acting Governor Sylvia Luke issued an emergency proclamation.

The islands of Maui and Big Island are the most affected. The historic town of Lahaina in Maui, home to over 12,000 people, has been devastated by the flames, with reports saying dozens were forced to flee into the ocean

The fires are a result of dry conditions and strong winds fueled by Hurricane Dora, which is raging over 500 miles south of the islands.

The Hawaii National Guard has been activated but firefighters and aerial support are still struggling to respond to the situation due to the heavy winds.

Hawaii wildfires: Maui and Big Island evacuated as Hurricane Dora winds fuel blazes

Natalie Chinn10 August 2023 01:00


2018 Florida hurricane laid groundwork for 2022 wildfire

Hurricanes have spurred wildfires in the past – not just by the winds giving fires a push but also by giving them more fuel to burn. Hurricane Michael took down large amounts of trees in Florida in 2018, making them a prime target for wildfires in the state last year.

In March 2022, University of Florida fire ecologist David Godwin wrote for The Conversation that Hurricane Michael had “a catastrophic impact on timber in the region. The hurricane dropped most of the standing trees into a jumbled mess that piled up on the ground”.

He added that a forest fire’s regular fuel load, as in “the total mass of burnable stuff on a site – is less than 10 tons per acre”.

Following the hurricane in the Florida panhandle, surveys found that there were more than 100 tons per acre in parts of the area.

“That’s off the charts. Everyone involved saw this storm had tremendous potential to affect wildfire activity for years to come,” Dr Godwin added. “In most fires within the region, only the ground cover and understory vegetation burn. Here, almost the entire forest is now on the ground – branches and trunks that normally wouldn’t be available to the fire are dead, dry and ready to burn.”

Gustaf Kilander10 August 2023 00:15


‘A tragic symbol of the climate emergency and colonial greed’

Gustaf Kilander9 August 2023 23:55


Family forced to camp in van overnight after flight home cancelled

The 911 emergency reporting system was down in West Maui early on Wednesday, where residents were urged to make direct calls to the police department, according to county officials.

Areas of Maui were placed under orders to evacuate. Two shelters were shut down as the flames closed in, with those inside being moved on to other locations.

Margo Brousseau, 52, told The New York Times that she was able to smell the smoke at the Kihei Community Center before it was closed. Ms Brousseau is visiting with her family – they were planning on staying the night in a van in the shelter’s car park. They had rented the vehicle after their Tuesday night flight home was cancelled.

She told the paper that the airline staff told them that “there is nowhere we can put you because all of these hotels don’t have power and all these people are being evacuated from their own resorts, so we don’t have anywhere to offer you”.

The Weather Service said that a red flag warning was in effect for some parts of the Hawaii islands, meaning that they were, or would soon be, under critical fire conditions.

The winds in Hawaii are set to slow on Wednesday as a high-pressure system to the north is decreasing in strength and Hurricane Dora moves further west, according to the Weather Service.

Gustaf Kilander9 August 2023 23:30

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