Strong winds in Hawaii have fanned wildfires that have torched homes and forced evacuations, in part because of Hurricane Dora, which passed hundreds of miles to the south. After apparently jumping into the water to escape the flames, the Coast Guard saved twelve persons.
Two of the fires are in the Upcountry and Lahaina regions of Maui. According to Hawaii News Now, the wildfire is thought to have largely destroyed the historic district.
“Our house was gone. Everything that we’d ever known was gone,” Lahaina resident Dustin Kaleiopu told Hawaii News Now. “Our church, our schools, every single memory we had on this household … everything was gone in the blink of an eye.”
The tweet below confirms the news:
A press release from Maui County states that the island is under multiple evacuation orders. Wind gusts between 40 and 60 mph have fuelled the fires.
By creating a pressure gradient, Hurricane Dora contributed to the formation of high winds over the Hawaiian Islands. That indicates that it contributed to the strong winds’ induction along with high pressure to the north.
The Hawaii National Guard was activated and acting governor Sylvia Luke made an emergency proclamation in place of out-of-state governor Josh Green.
On the northwest coast of the island, Lahaina is a well-known tourist resort and served as the Kingdom of Hawaii’s capital from 1820 to 1845. The National Park Service listed the Lahaina Historic District as a National Historic Landmark in 1962.
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