Published: Sat, July 13, 2019

Hawaii's Maui Island wildfire forces evacuations

Hawaii's Maui Island wildfire forces evacuations

"We are asking everyone to conserve energy, conserve water, and do what you can to be prepared", Maui Mayor Mike Victorino said. Here are the latest updates on the fire's location, including maps, evacuations, and shelters in the region.

Hawaii emergency officials have ordered thousands of residents in parts of central Maui to evacuate as firefighters battle a blaze that has ripped through parched land, scorching some 3,000 acres.

Mandatory evacuations, since lifted, covered residents and visitors in the Maalaea and North Kihei region.

Neither Maui County officials nor a representative with the county's Emergency Operations Center were available for comment early on Friday.

"If you need to evacuate please be aware of what's going on around you".

There were also concerns about the safety of hundreds of dogs, cats and other animals threatened by the blaze, with the the Maui Humane Society rescuing several hundred of them.

In the midst of the evacuations on Thursday, Oprah opened a private road on her property to county officials.

But Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino cautioned that, "This fire is still an active threat to our community, and residents are urged to remain vigilant of changing conditions", in the same post.

Maui Watch reported that the county didn't officially announce the road was open.

According to Hawaii's Department of Transportation, flights had been diverted from Kahului Airport, which was operating briefly on a power generator a result of the fire, but power has been restored and flights have resumed, transportation officials said.

"A big mahalo to @Oprah for giving @mauicounty access to your private road for use to assist in the #Mauifire", tweeted Hawaii Gov. David Ige. MAILE CREWDSON photo A major brush fire Thursday shut down Kuihelani Highway from Honoapiilani HIghway to Maui Lani Parkway. However, due to the numbers of cancelled flights, there were more delays at Kahului airport on Friday. But operations were back to normal around 7 p.m. local time, media reported. The Maalaea Power Plant and power lines are in the area of the fire.

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