Nearly 3,000 to 4,000 acres have burned in the Kihei region of Maui so far, and hundreds of people have evacuated to shelters nearby. Photos and videos from the region reveal a harrowing fire of an immense scale that should be taken seriously by residents in the area.
Thousands of residents had to evacuate Thursday due to the brush fire, which had not been contained. The fire burned about 3,000 acres, Maui Mayor Mike Victorino said in a press conference on Thursday. A cause of the fire hasn’t yet been shared.
He said they weren’t going to put any firefighters in harm’s way overnight, but they would remain on call in case flames neared residential areas, Hawaii News Now noted.
The fire started on Thursday morning and grew quickly, partially due to 15 to 20 mph winds. It was out of control by 2:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Residents in many areas were asked to evacuate. (See Heavy’s story here for details.) Other residents have been asked to conserve water and energy and be ready to leave as necessary.
The following shelters are open, Maui News reported.
- Kihei Community Center – At 7:30 p.m. they reported 156 evacuees and six dogs, per Maui Now.
- War Memorial Complex – As of 7:30 p.m. they reported 70 evacuees, per Maui Now.
- Kamalii Elementary School – At capacity with 450 people as of 4 p.m. on July 11
People arriving by plane got a good view of the devastating fire.
Hawaiian Electric Companies will be providing updates on Facebook.
Evacuations were ordered for the following areas on Thursday.
- North Kihei – Mandatory as of 8 p.m., according to Maui News
- Maalaea – The evacuation was voluntary as of 8 p.m., according to Maui News
- Including Sugar Beach, Kamalani subdivision, residences along Piilani Highway
- Maui Humane Society evacuated to Maui High
However, the County of Maui later said that all evacuations were lifted.
You might want to check with your local officials to confirm if you are evacuated.
Here’s another view of the fire.
In the afternoon, Wailea Beach appeared covered in smoke.
Here is a view of the fire at night.
The smoke has been heavy all day.
A view from the Four Seasons was not restful:
And vacationers might have felt intimidated.
Here is another look at the smoke from the road:
Here’s a view that one resident shared as they were being evacuated.
And from another evacuee earlier on Thursday:
Here are more photos and videos.
Even at night, it was ominous.
Hopefully, officials will get the fire under control soon.
If you are local, you can also call 270-7285 and ask to speak to an Emergency Operations Personnel. (Full number with area code is 808-270-7285.)
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