- Evacuations are underway across Hawaii’s Big Island and Maui as “unprecedented” wildfires have damaged structures, prompted rescues and even spurred some to jump into the ocean to escape danger, officials said.
- The Hawaii National Guard was activated to support first responders in the impacted communities in an emergency proclamation issued Tuesday by Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke, who is acting as the governor while Gov. Josh Green is traveling out of the state.
- On Maui’s west side, 911 service is currently down, with resorts, visitors and commercial districts losing communication due to downed cell towers, according to an emergency official.
- Winds associated with powerful Category 4 Hurricane Dora, which is passing hundreds of miles south of Hawaii, are helping to fan strong winds over the islands.
Wildfires Force Evacuations in Maui, People Flee into Ocean
August 9, 2023
Wildfires have forced evacuations in Maui, Hawaii, as strong winds fan the flames. The fires have destroyed multiple structures and forced people to flee into the ocean to escape the smoke and flames.
The fires started on Wednesday and have since spread to several areas of Maui, including the town of Lahaina. The winds have been gusting up to 80 mph, making it difficult for firefighters to contain the flames.
The Maui County Civil Defense Agency has issued an evacuation order for the Lahaina area. Residents are being urged to leave their homes and go to a safe location.
The fires have also forced the closure of several roads in Maui. The public is being urged to avoid the area and to stay informed about the latest developments.
In addition to the evacuations, the fires have also forced people to flee into the ocean to escape the smoke and flames. On Wednesday, a dozen people were rescued from the water off the coast of Lahaina.
The fires are still burning and it is not clear when they will be extinguished. The Maui County Civil Defense Agency is urging residents to stay informed about the latest developments and to heed all evacuation orders.
The fires are a reminder of the dangers of wildfires, especially in areas with dry conditions and strong winds. Residents of Maui are being urged to take precautions to protect themselves from wildfires, such as clearing brush around their homes and having a fire plan in place.