Hawaii wildfires burn to the ground historic town of Lahaina

Daily Insider News

Raging wildfires, fanned by hurricane-force winds, have wrought havoc upon the historic town of Lahaina on the island of Maui in Hawaii.

Brian Schatz, a US senator representing the state, shared on social media that Lahaina has been almost entirely razed to the ground.

Officials confirmed on Wednesday that at least six individuals lost their lives in Maui County due to the inferno.

Maui’s medical facilities are grappling with an influx of burn victims and individuals affected by smoke inhalation.

Mr. Schatz mentioned, “Firefighters are still grappling to contain the fires, and our first responders are engaged in search and rescue operations.”

Reports surfaced early Wednesday that some people had plunged into the ocean to evade the swiftly advancing flames. The US Coast Guard reported saving no less than a dozen individuals from the water.

During a news conference, Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen Jr. revealed that numerous homes and business structures had been utterly decimated.

A resident within the town of around 12,000 residents recounted to local media that every vessel in the town’s harbor was ablaze. “It’s reminiscent of scenes from a war movie,” Chrissy Lovitt conveyed to Hawaii News Now.

Officials acknowledged that gauging the true scope of the destruction on Maui remains challenging and cautioned that the death toll could rise. Roughly 2,100 people have been displaced.

Anxious relatives of Lahaina inhabitants expressed concerns for missing family members. “I’m still in the dark about my younger brother’s whereabouts,” Tiare Lawrence disclosed to Hawaii News Now. “I don’t know the fate of my stepdad.”

“Every person I know in Lahaina has lost their homes,” Ms. Lawrence lamented.

A multitude of individuals are still without power or cell phone coverage due to the blazes, and on Wednesday, 911 services in West Maui were incapacitated.

Officials disclosed that three major fires continue to rage unabated on Maui. Concurrently, several fires are scorching the Big Island, also known as Hawaii Island, a neighboring landmass to Maui.

The National Weather Service indicated that Hurricane Dora’s gales, while not directly impacting Hawaii, exacerbated the flames with wind gusts exceeding 60 mph (97 km/h) and coupled with low humidity levels.

President Joe Biden conveyed in a statement that federal aid has been dispatched to Hawaii to combat the conflagrations and sustain rescue operations.

He additionally stated that the Department of Transportation is laboring to evacuate tourists from Maui. An estimated 4,000 visitors are striving to depart the island, according to state transportation official Ed Sniffen.

The County of Maui has appealed to tourists to avoid Lahaina, as access roads to the town are only open for emergency vehicles.

Hawaii’s Lieutenant Governor Sylvia Luke emphasized, “This is not a secure location to be in.” She elaborated, “Certain areas of Maui are grappling with overflowing shelters and strained resources.”

Lahaina, situated on the western edge of Maui, is a historic town. Its core dates back to the 1700s and is included in the US National Register of Historic Places.

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