Massive Fire Engulfs 10,000 Acres on Maui

A massive wildfire on the Hawaiian island of Maui that began Thursday night continued into Friday morning, posing an “active threat” to locals, according to local officials. Thousands of people have been evacuated.

“This fire is still an active threat to our community and residents are urged to remain vigilant of changing conditions,” Mayor Michael Victorino told reporters.

The fire had engulfed some 10,000 acres on central Maui by Friday morning, according to NPR. It was able to quickly spread after “feeding” on large areas of fallow, former sugar cane fields, and dry brush, officials said.

Beyond the evacuations of the Kihei and Maalaea communities, the Maui Humane Society also moved its animals to a nearby high school for safekeeping, CNN reported. Flights to and from the island’s airport were also diverted, however normal operations have since resumed.

Amid the fire, the community has come together to help one another, including its most famous resident, Oprah. She replied to another user on Twitter that she had given access to her private road for evacuations.

“Access to the road was given to county officials immediately,” she wrote. “Hoping for the safety of all.”

Officials have yet to determine a cause for the fire. No injuries or deaths have been reported.

Hawaii tourism officials are also urging anyone with plans to visit the island in the coming days to check in with both their hotels and accommodations prior to departure.

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