On Wednesday, an emergency declaration was issued for all airports. Air residents reiterated the need to flee the devastating wildfire, prompting the acting governor to make an emergency announcement.
Maui resident Steve Scott told ABC News’ Gio Benitez on Wednesday, “We started to smell smoke and then we realized we were in trouble.” “It came, and it came fast.”
Teaming up with powerful commercial winds in the air, the wildfire is spreading rapidly in very dry conditions. The air has a strong high-pressure system to the north and a strong low-pressure system to thesouth – Tropical Storm Dora – causing this.
Scott said, “I’ve never had winds like this before.” He mentioned that before fleeing, he tried to control the fire with a hose.
He declared, “I was trapped.” We had to flee in the direction of the harbor.
Maui resident Malika Dudley described her experience of escaping a fierce jungle fire with her two children in the middle of the night during a live interview with ABC News on Wednesday.
We were in the first evacuation at 1 am. I started to smell smoke in my house, and I woke up my husband,
and he said, “Oh, don’t worry about it.” At 1:30, I thought, “No, there’s a fire in our house.”
Finally, they received a call from their neighbor, and the fire was just above their property.
“Our neighbor called and said to ‘Get out of your house.’ They went on, “We looked out the window and saw a red glow outside.”Fire directly above.our property.”
Currently in Halyemayil, which is on the slope of Haleakala, you can still see the fire creeping and spreading down the mountain.
Scott said the damage is “devastating,” especially in downtown Lahaina, as the tourist-driven area begins to recover from the pandemic.
He remarked, “I don’t know if we can survive this.”
Amid the emergency situation, the journey was encouraged.
On Tuesday, Acting Governor Sylvia Luke issued an emergency proclamation for the islands of Maui and Hawaii. All counties were included in the emergency proclamation on Wednesday, and now it is not recommended to fly to Maui unless it is absolutely necessary. Assistance to all affected state agencies has also been ordered.
The proclamation encourages visitors in West Maui to depart the island as quickly and practically as possible in light of the fast-moving fire caused by Hurricane Dora’s strong winds.
Luke said, “We are actively monitoring the conflagration brought on by the powerful winds of Hurricane Dora.The safety of our residents is paramount, and this emergency proclamation will activate the Hawaii National Guard to support emergency responders in affected communities.”
A representative for the US Army’s 25th Infantry Division said that in addition to mobilizing Hawaii’s National Guard to assist in putting out the flames on Maui and the Big Island Division will send helicopters to help extinguish the fires should they worsen due to the shortage of planes in Hawaii. The Department of Defense for Hawaii.
All Hawaiian islands’ leeward sides are under a red flag warning from the National Weather Service.
As of Tuesday night, six fires have burned over 1,800 acres of land on Maui and the Big Island. The situation on Maui, according to officials, is extremely volatile and changing quickly.
Contry officials said that on Tuesday, people were evacuated from near the fires – Lahaina and Upcountry Maui fires – as the authorities are struggling against the fires that have engulfed trees and structures in the areas of Upcountry and Lahaina. In a statement, officials said, “Several structures have been burned, and people are being evacuated in many places as firefighting teams are battling the fires in the areas of Upcountry and Lahaina.” “In West Maui, firefighters from Napili, Lahaina, Kihei, and Waileku rapidly responded to the intensifying fire, which had spread well to the south of Hurricane Dora’s aviation due to strong winds.”
Other agencies, including the US Coast Guard, are also responding. The aerial squad of the Coast Guard said that they successfully rescued 12 people from Lahaina’s water. According to the state’s EMS, it’s believed that the individuals jumped into the water to escape the flames’ encroachment.
Maui’s main airport Kahului Airport hasn’t been formally closed, but disruptions have occurred due to smoke. According to the FAA, travelers should check with their airlines for the status of their flights.
According to the Department of Aviation, around 1,800 people took refuge at Kahului Airport overnight.
Airport authorities have also urged visitors, if possible, to leave Maui and avoid traveling to the island. Warnings have spread anxiety among flights heading towards the island.
The flight operated by Alaska Airlines from Los Angeles International Airport to Maui experienced hours of delay and after informing passengers about the conditions on the island, they were allowed to disembark the plane twice.
A passenger still onboard the aircraft, Sam Herring, told ABC News, “I was heading to West Maui, but I don’t know if I’m going now because I think there’s a fire there and they are taking people to Honolulu.” “I was heading to the west with someone I know, but now I think I’m going to sleep in a rental car.”