The Maui wildfires have resulted in at least 80 fatalities, making them the state of Hawaii’s deadliest natural disaster since statehood.
The majority of the historic town of Lahaina has reportedly been “destroyed,” according to officials. All of the island has been placed under a state of emergency, and non-essential travel to this well-liked vacation spot has been forbidden, according to officials. Wildfires have also ravaged Hawaii’s Big Island.
At around 9 p.m. local time, officials reported that firefighters were attempting to put out three fires in Lahaina, Upcountry Maui, and close to Pulehu and Kihei. A fire reported near Kaanapali was 100% contained.
West Maui had restrictions on vehicle travel, but the exit road from Lahaina was accessible, according to county officials.
The update stated that the burned historic Lahaina town area remained barricaded and that residents were advised to avoid the area because of potential concerns, including as poisonous particles from smouldering regions. It is suggested that you wear gloves and a mask.
County officials reported that 1,400 individuals were staying at emergency shelters for evacuation.
As fires raged in West Maui Friday evening, residents and visitors in Kaanapali were being evacuated, said to law enforcement officials.
Residents in Kaanapali are currently being evacuated due to a fire in West Maui, according to a message shared on social media by the Maui Police Department.
Kaanapali, another area popular with tourists, is on the coast a few miles north of Lahaina.
One region particularly ravaged by the wildfires is the historic town of Lahaina, which has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1962.
It was the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii from 1820 to 1845 before Honolulu became the cpital and before the kingdom was overthrown and Hawaii was annexed by the United States, according to the Hawai’i Tourism Authority.
This includes the historic Waiola Church, the first Christian church on Maui established in 1823, which can be seen in photos engulfed in the blaze.
Buried here are several Hawaiian monarchs, including “Queen Keopuolani, the highest royalty by virtue of bloodlines in all Hawaii,” the last king of Kauai King Kaumuali’i, High Chief Ulumaheihei Hoapili and more.
A more than 60-foot-tall, 150-year-old Indian banyan tree that become a beloved landmark in the city of Lahaina was also damaged in the blaze, pictures show.
The historic tree covers one-quarter of a mile and shades nearly two-thirds of an acre of land.
Other historic homes, museums, and cultural centers were caught in the blaze.