Wildfires Hawaii: Maui ‘wiped off the map’ with 271 buildings torched as tourists are urged to leave, shelters run out of space and Biden sends in Black Hawks
- President Joe Biden issued federal aid late on Wednesday to help douse the unrelenting wilfire flames that are fueled by intense winds near Hawaii
- The Maui wildfires have so far killed six people and left 20 gravely injured in an ‘unprecedented’ disaster for Lahaina and its locals and tourists
- There was no change in the containment of three of the biggest fires raging on the island – mounting fears that many will wake up with their homes scorched
Maui has been nearly ‘wiped off the map’ after 271 buildings were torched to the ground during the intense wildfires that have already killed six people and caused multi-billion dollar damage.
Authorities are struggling to shelter the hundreds of locals and tourists who have been displaced – while President Biden issued federal aid and sent Black Hawks to help douse the unrelenting flames that are fueled by intense winds near Hawaii.
Democratic Senator for Hawaii, Brian Schatz, revealed that Lahaina has been ‘almost totally burnt to the ground’ as firefighters seem to make little headway in the battle.
One person said: ‘Utter devastation left by the wildfires in Maui, Hawaï. It is far from hyperbole to say that Lahaina has been wiped off the map.’
Thousands of tourists vacationing at the popular destination are still stuck on the island and are seeking temporary shelter after being ordered to leave.
Desperate people have been seen hurling themselves into the ocean to escape the blaze that has encapsulated the landscape, pictures show.
Maui has been nearly wiped off the map after 271 buildings were torched to the ground during the intense wildfires that have already killed six people and caused multi-billion dollar damage
The hall of historic Waiola Church in Lahaina and nearby Lahaina Hongwanji Mission are engulfed in flames along Wainee Street
Officials are nervously awaiting a presidential declaration of emergency – as the state estimates it will be facing billions of dollars of structural damage due to the raging infernos
Drought and high winds from Hurricane Dora have caused fires across Hawaii and are prompting evacuations across the state
An aerial view of destroyed buildings as a wildfire burns in Lahaina, Hawaii
Officials are nervously awaiting a presidential declaration of emergency – as the state estimates it will be facing billions of dollars of structural damage due to the raging infernos.
There was no change in the containment of three of the biggest fires raging on the island by midnight – mounting fears that many will wake up on Thursday with their homes scorched to cinders.
Meanwhile, Hawaii Gov. Josh Green warned that there is not enough shelter ‘for long-term living’ to aid those several hundreds who have lost everything in the wildfires.
Currently, around 2,000 tourists are in shelters near the island’s airport.
US Civil Air Patrol and Maui Fire Department flyovers sizing up Lahaina found that more than 271 structures have so far been impacted – but with no end to the wildfire in sight, this number is expected to increase into Thursday.
The entirety of West Maui remains without power, and has no landline or cellphone service as the wildfires incinerate buildings for another day.
Democratic Senator for Hawaii, Brian Schatz, revealed that Lahaina has been ‘almost totally burnt to the ground’ as firefighters seem to make little headway in the battle
Authorities are struggling to shelter the hundreds of locals and tourists who have been displaced – while President Biden issued federal aid and sent Black Hawks to help douse the unrelenting flames that are fueled by intense winds near Hawaii
After hearing reports her home was destroyed and her pets were killed, local Steff Baku-Kirkman puts her hands over her head. Wildfires, driven by high winds, ruined the town of Lahaina
Aerial footage of the devastating effects of the wildfires over the island. Smoke is seen billowing into the sky
Pictured: The harbor has been severely impacted – and there is widespread damage to the West Maui town, according to federal forces called in to help the crisis
A mass bus evacuation for visitors was staged at Sheraton Maui Resort in Kaʻanapali late on Wednesday – taking visitors directly to Kahului Airport where travelers have been desperately trying to board departing flights.
Shelters remain open at War Memorial Gymnasium in Wailuku, Maui High School in Kahului and Hannibal Tavares Community Center in Pukalani, the state said in an update early on Thursday morning.
Gov. Green told CNN: ‘What we’re trying to do right now is to make sure that anyone who doesn’t need to be in Maui for anything but essential travel does not go to Maui.
‘I’m making a call right now to all the people of Hawaii: If you have an ADU on your property, if you have a rental that’s not occupied right now, we will be promoting a program quite quickly to put people back into shelter.
‘We already struggle with homelessness and a severe shortage of housing in our state, so this of course exacerbates that problem.’
The harbor has been severely impacted – and there is widespread damage to the West Maui town, according to federal forces called in to help the crisis.
Four helicopters have been deployed for water drops in Lahaina, while two Chinooks, along with four Windward Aviation helicopters, and Black Hawks have been battling all three fires with water drops.
Three helicopters from US Coast Guard and US Navy were conducting search and rescue along the West Maui coastline late on Thursday night.
Two images show the destruction of vegetation and structures in Maui
A man sits in a chair amid the total destruction of the island. Joe Biden called for Federal aid to reach Hawaii on Wednesday evening
As well as the six people declared dead, Maui Memorial Medical Center announced it had treated seven patients, two of which are in critical condition, for fire-related injuries.
Some are being treated for burns and smoke inhalation. An additional seven patients have been transferred to Oahu for specialty services.
Wade Ebersole, Chief Operations Officer of the hospital said: ‘Our caregivers care deeply about this community’s health and well-being and are working to ensure that all of our patients’ needs are being met.
‘Our hearts and support are with our community and first responders during this challenging time.’
Satellite images, taken before and after the fires erupted, showed the devastation to the landscape and infrastructure.
Pictures revealed that the Lahaina Heritage Museum has been incinerated to the point that its roof has collapsed, according to CNN.
The Baldwin Home Museum has also been burned down in the travesty – as has the Wo Hing Temple Museum, which was a social and spiritual meeting point for Hawaii’s Chinese immigrant community.
On Wednesday afternoon, Joe Biden called for Federal aid to reach Hawaii on Wednesday evening, and said the U.S. Coast Guard, Navy Third Fleets and U.S Marines are supporting response and rescue efforts.
The complete devastation in idyllic Hawaii’s historic town has been laid bare after massive wildfires ripped through the tourist hotspot and burned everything in its path to cinders
The Maui wildfires have claimed six lives and left 20 people gravely injured in an ‘unprecedented’ disaster for Lahaina
Wildfires on the Hawaiian island of Maui caused some people to jump into the ocean on Tuesday to escape the flames and smoke
There are currently 11,209 households without electricity in Maui
Mayor Richard Bissen Jr confirmed the devastating fatalities: ‘I’m sad to report that just before coming on this, it was confirmed we’ve had 6 fatalities. We are still in a search and rescue mode.
‘We’ve had many dwellings – businesses, structures – that have been burned, many of them to the ground.
‘As a result of three fires that have occurred that are continuing here on our island we have had 13 evacuations from different neighborhoods and towns, we’ve had 16 road closures, we’ve opened five shelters.’
Power remains out for 11,209 Hawaiians, and the fires are ongoing.
James Kunane Tokioka, the state’s business, economic development and tourism director, said: ‘Local people have lost everything.
‘They’ve lost their house, they’ve lost their animals and it’s devastating.’
The National Weather Service has warned that more destruction is on the way.
Initiating a red flag warning, it said on Wednesday afternoon: ‘Very dry fuels combined with strong and gusty easterly winds and low humidities will produce critical fire weather conditions through the afternoon hours.’
The town of Lahaina is all but destroyed. Devastating videos showed desperate residents jumping into the harbor to avoid the flames last night
Power remains out for thousands of Hawaiians, and the fires are ongoing
Smoke billows near Lahaina as wildfires driven by high winds destroy a large part of the historic town of Lahaina
US President Joe Biden said in a statement: ‘Jill and I send our deepest condolences to the families of those who lost loved ones in the wildfires in Maui, and our prayers are with those who have seen their homes, businesses, and communities destroyed.
‘We are grateful to the brave firefighters and first responders who continue to run toward danger, putting themselves in harm’s way to save lives.
‘I have ordered all available Federal assets on the Islands to help with response. The Hawaiian National Guard has mobilized Chinook Helicopters to help with fire suppression and search and rescue on the Island of Maui.
‘The U.S. Coast Guard and Navy Third Fleets are supporting response and rescue efforts. The U.S. Marines are providing Black Hawk Helicopters to fight the fires on the Big Island.
‘The Department of Transportation is working with commercial airlines to evacuate tourists from Maui, and the Department of the Interior and the United States Department of Agriculture stand ready to support post fire recovery efforts.
‘I urge all residents to continue to follow evacuation orders, listen to the instructions of first responders and officials, and stay alert.’
Victoria Wayne-Bowley was born and raised in the historic town of Lahaina. This morning the Hawaiian native woke up to non-stop phone calls from frantic friends and extended family claiming their homes had either burned down or were under threat from the devastating fires that have ravaged Maui.
‘Everyone is sleep deprived not knowing where their loved ones are. I never would have imagined this type of catastrophe. It’s the most devastating disaster in the history of Maui,’ Wayne Bowley told DailyMail.com.
‘The whole Lahaina is a complete wasteland. There were people whose only choice was to jump into the ocean, while the coastguard raced to help them. It looks like Hiroshima.
‘Literally people were driving to dinner last night like everything was safe and in just a short period of time within 24 hours this happened,’ said Wayne-Bowley who lived in Lahaina for 25 years before moving to New Jersey, but still travels to Maui on a regular basis for work.
Wayne-Bowley and her family run a popular clothing company throughout the island called Maui Clothing Company with some 70 employees. As of this afternoon, cell phone usage was dodgy or no longer viable because of the fires.
Her father Edward Wayne founded the business in 1982 which has grown to 14 stores. Three of which are under immediate threat.
‘We still can’t get in touch with our employees. No one is reachable in the Lahaina area,’ Wayne-Bowley explained. ‘I’ve been communicating through email, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
‘I am 99% sure that our original store on Front Street in Lahaina burned down today. My parents opened it in 1982, the year I was born. Back them it was called Lobster & Roses, but the name was changed to the Maui Clothing Company.
‘Our other two stores, Maui WaterWear and Cruise Maui Boutique, are located in another shopping area called Whalers Village in Kaanapali which is also under threat.’
The town of Lahaina is all but destroyed. Devastating videos showed desperate residents jumping into the harbor to avoid the flames last night
Both locations are Lahaina’s most popular tourist destinations for shopping.
‘It’s really sad to see this scale of devastation. We have family and friends that started restaurants and stores decades ago, only to be destroyed. There are historical landmarks that have been burned down.’
‘We don’t know all the details, but these are nostalgic places that people have gone to for the past 50 years that are no longer there.’
‘I feel sad. It’s devastating. It’s tragic and it’s heartbreaking. You feel like everyone is your family on the island and everyone treats each other like family.’
Longtime friend and well known dermatologist in Lahaina, Dr. George Martin narrowly escaped the deadly fire which came within just 1/4 mile away from his ranch with one hundred animals.
‘Our close friend Dr. Martin has close to one hundred animals, horses, chickens, ponies. He had to evacuate them all last and fortunately people from other parts of the island offered to help. That’s what people are like here. Everyone is helping and posting messages online saying they have land and to bring your animals.’
A disheartened local shared a heartbreaking Instagram post saying, ‘My brother says there are bodies on the ground in Lahaina.’
Devastating aerial video shows the extent of the damage in Lahaina, where thousands of locals fled in the dead of the night to escape being trapped.
Claire Kent, who was among those who took to the water in boats, said she had lost ‘everything’.
Joe Biden called for Federal aid to reach Hawaii on Wednesday evening, and said the U.S. Coast Guard, Navy Third Fleets and U.S Marines are supporting response and rescue efforts
Plumes of smoke are seen rising above a building in Maui
The worst of the fires are on Maui, where Oprah and Steven Tyler are among celebrities with homes. The fire in Lahaina has been the most destructive, torching homes and businesses
‘I am out of Lahaina, safe with a few friends in Waiehu. My home is gone, my town is gone, my job is gone. We lost everything.
‘This is the scariest thing I have ever experienced. So incredibly devastated.’
Multiple burn patients were today flown out of Maui to Honolulu to be cared for as the ‘apocalyptic’ blazes rage on.
The fires, fanned by strong winds from Hurricane Dora, have burned structures, forced evacuations and caused power outages in several communities.
The worst of the fires is on Maui. One is torching parts of northern Wailea – where tourist hotels like the Four Seasons and Hilton scatter the beach – and another has destroyed the town of Lahaina.
A worker at the Four Seasons Wailea told DailyMail.com that the resort has not been affected aside from ‘some air quality issues’. The $990-a-night hotel is where the first season of The White Lotus was filmed.
The fires, fanned by strong winds from Hurricane Dora, have burned structures, forced evacuations and caused power outages in several communities
In Lahaina, a town of around 12,000 people, frantic locals jumped into the water in the harbor to escape the flames. Twelve people were rescued from the waves by boats.
‘This is an unprecedented disaster as an indirect result of Hurricane Dora passing just south of our island. It is truly devastating and my heart goes out to the residents of Maui and all those impacted,’ Lt. Governor Sylvie Luke said Wednesday morning.
One fire in Kula, central Maui, is raging near to where Oprah recently purchased hundreds of acres of land.
‘This is so unprecedented. An emergency in the night is terrifying… right now it is all-hands-on-deck and we are anxious for daybreak,’ Maui County spokesperson Mahina Martin said in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
‘We are already in communication with other hospital systems about relieving the burden — the reality is that we need to fly people out of Maui to give them burn support because Maui hospital cannot do extensive burn treatment.
‘In addition to dealing with disaster, we’re dealing with major transportation issues as well,’ she told CNN on Wednesday.
‘911 is down. Cell service is down. Phone service is down. That’s been part of the problem. The Maui County has not been able to communicate with residents on the west side, the Lahaina side.
The Front Street in Lahaina was all but razed on Tuesday night as the fires raged on
‘What we are trying to do is deploy individuals to go into areas with satellite phone service.
‘We have only been in contact with perhaps one hotel because the one hotel, the people in charge of that hotel have satellite phones. That’s the only way you can make connection.
‘It’s impeding communication. It’s impeding efforts to evacuate residents and we are very concerned about that,’ she said.
Fire chiefs yesterday warned residents to evacuate their homes before it is too late.
‘The fire can be a mile or more from your house, but in a minute or two, it can be at your house. Burning airborne materials can light fires a great distance away from the main body of fire,’ Maui County Fire Assistant Chief Jeff Giesea said.
Fire crews on Maui were battling multiple blazes concentrated in two areas: the popular tourist destination of West Maui and an inland, mountainous region.
Footage shot from a yacht in Lahaina Mooring Field in Maui shows the sky bruising as huge plumes of smoke rise from the fires.
Video also shows fires raging through a residential area in Maui surrounded by grassland with black smoke billowing into the sky.
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