Maui fires live updates: Hawaii wildfires news, Big Island, Hurricane Dora, Lahaina evacuation
Maui wildfires: Live news and information
Hope for survival of oldest banyan tree in the US
The banyan tree in Lahaina was planted in 1873 to mark the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the first American Protestant mission. The 150-year-old banyan tree was a gift from missionaries in India. Only eight feet when it was planted, it grew to a height of about 60 feet.
It was burnt in the fire but recovery efforts are underway to determine the extent of the damage and if the tree can be salvaged and revived.
Maui fires call attention to climate change
The devastating wildfires in Maui that have caused so much destruction are bringing the issue of climate change to the fore.
Increasing temperatures coupled with hurricane-force winds in the region have contributed to the tragedy that has befallen the island.
Maui looks "like an area bombed in the war"
A helicopter pilot who flew over Maui on Wednesday has told CNN of the “devastating” scene he witnessed.
“It looked like an area that had been bombed in the war,” Richie Olsten, the director of operations at Air Maui Helicopters, said.
“It was devastating. In my 52 years of flying on Maui, I’ve never seen anything like that.”
At least six dead in Maui wildfires - mayor
Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen has told a news briefing that at least six people have been killed by wildfires on the island.
"Our main focus now is to save lives," Bissen said.
He had few details about the deaths, saying he had just been informed of the number before the briefing started.
"The situation is really fluid. They are doing search and rescue as we speak," said National Guard Major General Kenneth Hara.
Smoke drifts westward from two wildfires visible on satellite imagery taken over the island of Maui in Hawaii on Wednesday.
(Photo: GOES:(CSU/CIRA & NOAA)/Handout via REUTERS)
Historic Lahaina building burned by Maui wildfires
CNN has reported that the historic Baldwin Home, the oldest house on Maui, has been burned by the wildfires in Lahaina.
Built in the 1830s, the building had been converted into a museum.
Hawaii press briefing at 4pm ET
Hawaii state and county officials are due to hold a press briefing at 10am local time/4pm ET.
Per NBC, acting governor Sylvia Luke is to speak to the media, together with the Hawaii County and Maui County mayors.
Hawaii gov to return from holiday today
Hawaii's governor, Josh Green, says he is to cut short his holiday and return to the islands today.
In a statement confirming the move, Green conceded that "some loss of life is expected".
“We have suffered a terrible disaster in the form of a wildfire that has spread widely as a result of hurricane-force winds in the region and underlying drought conditions," Green said. "Maui and the Big Island both experienced significant fires. Much of Lāhainā on Maui has been destroyed and hundreds of local families have been displaced.
“Heroic efforts by first responders have prevented many casualties from occurring, but some loss of life is expected. Our entire emergency response team, including the Hawai‘i National Guard has mobilized and is being supported by FEMA. We have named Adjutant General Ken Hara as our state incident commander. He was my partner in Hawai‘i’s successful COVID response.
“The White House has been incredibly supportive and we expect to submit a request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration in the next 36 to 48 hours, once we know how vast the damage is.
“Our state appreciates the incredible outpouring of concern and prayers from the mainland. We won’t forget the aloha you have already begun to share with us."
An aerial view of a wildfire in Kihei, Maui County.
(Photo: Clint Hansen of Maui Real Estate Radio/TMX via REUTERS)
Hawaiian Airlines waiving flight change fees
Amid the wildfires in Maui, and with non-essential air travel being strongly discouraged, Hawaiian Airlines has said it is allowing its customers to change flights without having to pay a penalty fee.
Non-essential air travel to Maui discouraged
The acting governor of Hawaii, Sylvia Luke, has told non-essential air travellers to Maui to avoid making the journey to the island.
Maui public schools closed
The Hawaii State Department of Education says all public schools on Maui will be closed today to students and staff, except or Hāna High and Elementary on the east of the island.
Evacuations continue on North-West side of Maui
The wildfire on Maui is continuing to rage after nearly a day of flames, fanned by the powerful winds from Hurricane Dora. Officials have reported seeing 60-foot flames whipping against the side of buildings as residents were evacuated on Tuesday afternoon.
The winds are expected to calm now as the hurricane loses force but the images of destruction on the Hawaiian island will stay with residents for a long time to come.
Hawaiian Congresswoman thanks officials for swift response
The scale of the disaster unfolding in Hawaii has left many stunned, but the emergency response teams on the island of Maui reacted swiftly to ensure that human life is protected. Rep. Jill Tokunda has thanked the response groups for their brave work to keep people safe.
Apocalyptic scenes in Hawaii as residents evacuate
Strong winds from the off-shore Hurricane Dora have whipped up the flames of wildfires on Maui, forcing residents to evacuate and sparking emergency proclamations. Officials are warning residents to make only essential journeys as the high winds make wildfires incredibly unpredictable.
As this harrowing footage shows, wildfires have obliterated parts of the island and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses.
Update on firefighter condition
Mayor Bissen of Maui has issued a statement on the well-being of an emergency responder who required medical assistance after inhaling smoke. The wildfires on Maui blazed all through the night and show little sign of stopping.
Mayo Bissen confirmed: "A firefighter who was responding to the West Maui fire has experienced smoke inhalation and was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center. He is in stable condition."
Resident in Lahaina recounts wildfire evacuation
The wildfires affecting Hawaii are continuing on Wednesday as resident struggle to come to terms with the scale of the destruction in areas. Maui and Big Island have been hit with wildfires, exacerbated by strong winds from Hurricane Dora.
Local man Leif Wright explains: "There was smoke everywhere, gusting winds, and then within 45 minutes everything was just black smoke... I didn't grab anything, I just wanted to get out of there and make sure we were safe."
Satellite imagery shows Hawaii wildfires
Satellite pictures show smoke drifting from two wildfires on the Hawaiian islands of Maui and Big Island. The blaze began on Tuesday evening and continued throughout the night, spreading further across the islands and causing mass evacuations.
Big Island and Maui subject to emergency proclamation
Officials are battling against a vast wildfires that are sweeping through two Hawaiian islands, Maui and Big Island. The flames have been fanned by winds from Hurricane Dora, which is still hundreds of miles from the islands.
ICYMI: Wildfires sweep Hawaiian island of Maui
- Unprecedented wildfires, stoked by Hurricane Dora, engulf parts of two Hawaiian islands
- Officials in Maui and Big Island are racing to evacuate residents and holiday-makers
- Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke has deployed National Guard to aid response effort
- Fires have disrupted 991 service on the west coast of Maui
- Reports of residents jumping into the ocean to escape the flames
“This is so unprecedented... Right now it is all-hands-on-deck and we are anxious for daybreak."
“It’s definitely one of the more challenging days for our island given that it’s multiple fires, multiple evacuations in the different district areas."
Fast-moving wildfires burn through parts of Hawaii
Emergency services in Hawaii are battling to contain a vast wildfire that is threatening some of the most iconic parts of the island. Parts of Lahaina town, a popular tourist destination, have been engulfed by flames.
The wildfires have struck the island of Maui, which is the second-largest of Hawaiian islands.
"Multiple structures have burned and multiple evacuations are in place, as firefighter crews continue battling brush and structure fires in Upcountry and Lahaina areas."
"In West Maui, fire crews from Napili, Lahaina, Kihei and Wailuku responded to the fast-moving fire, which was fueled by strong winds as Hurricane Dora passed well south of Hawaii."
Hurricane Dora winds fan the flames in Maui
A combination of high temperatures and hurricane-strength winds have coalesced to create a harrowing scene in Hawaii. In recent hours Hurricane Dora, which is still hundreds of miles away from the coast of Hawaii, has pushed the flames further and caused catastrophe in the tourist resort of Lahaina.
Here's the latest from Maui as emergency response teams battle to respond to the wildfires engulfing the region. The fires have triggered explosions, power lines are down, and homes and buildings are being destroyed.
Hawaii’s acting governor has issued an Emergency Proclamation as people are still being evacuated from the island. Alerts and updates can be found on the Maui County website. Currently, there is a Red Flag Warning in place for “critical fire weather conditions”.
WATCH: Shocking scenes as Lahaina burns
The situation in Hawaii appears to be worsening as the wildfires reach the downtown region of Lahaina, the popular holiday destination. Some residents have been forced to take refuge from the flames in the ocean and the Coast Guard have been called to assist those affected.
Lahaina town in Hawaii under threat
Officials in the Hawaiian region of Maui have reported that the huge wildfires sweeping the area have reached the popular tourist resort of Lahaina town. The historic town is well-known to many American holiday-makers and rescuers have been forced to rescue people from the flames.
Huge wildfires have forced residents to evacuate from regions on the north-west of Hawaii. The area in question, Maui, has been experiencing a drought in recent weeks and huge winds have pushed the fires further in-land.
We'll bring you all the latest news and information as we get it.