Seven fire trucks, two water tankers and one ladder company are tackling the fast-moving blaze, Maui Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) officials said. The huge fire started about 4.42am GMT (6.42pm local time Sunday) near 4050 Kalai Waa Street in the Maui Meadows Subdivision. Residents and tourists are being advised to avoid the area while fire crews try to bring the blaze under control.
Where has been evacuated?
Advisory messages asking people to evacuate have been pinged out via cell towers, according to agency administrator Herman Andaya.
About 100 guests from luxury resort Hotel Wailea were evacuated about 6.30am GMT (8.30pm Sunday local time).
An employee at the Monkeypod Kitchen restaurant said they had also been asked to flee.
In an updated message about 10am (12.40am local time), the County of Maui wrote on Facebook that residents were being “advised to prepare for possible evacuation as a fast-moving brush fire continued to burn out of control late Sunday night”, as advised by MEMA.
An emergency shelter has been set up at Kihei Community Center by the American Red Cross of Hawaii.
Maui fire officials have not determined the cause of the blaze and said it was still not under control at 11.40pm local time (9.40am).
The full extent of the fire’s coverage is still unknown at this stage.
But Maui Electric has confirmed it has a substation near to the fire’s origin, as reported by Hawaii News Now.
Mayor Michael Victorino and First LadyJoycelyn Victorino said: We rushed to the community center to see how we could help.
“Our prayers are with all those affected by this fire.”
He said anyone near the blaze has been notified to be ready to evacuate if the fire gets closer.
Mayor Victorino added: “I’m always concerned about protecting life and property. I am hoping and praying, asking people to keep a watchful eye to stay safe, and to comply with evacuation orders if more are issued.”
Terrified residents have been sharing their experiences online with one Hotel Wailea guest saying the power had gone out.
@barrettjh tweeted: “Still hearing sirens going past Kīhei every ~20-30 mins. Feels like pretty much every resource available being brought in.”
Worried holidaymaker Anne Christiansen, posted online: “Please update…we are on vacation and have gotten four ‘prepare to evacuate’ phone alerts and we’re ready to go if needs be. Just want to know what’s going on.”
Maui is Hawaii’s second largest island and is known as “the valley isle”.
Home to stunning beaches and verdant green landscapes, the island is popular with tourists.
Hawaii’s official tourist website, the Hawaiin Islands, said Maui has been voted “Best Island in the US” by Condé Nast Traveler readers for more than 20 years.
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