Hawaii is in “utter devastation” becasue of wildfires ripping through Maui. As of Thursday evening, none of the wildfires are 100% contained, officials said.
According to a report by NBC News, more of the Maui wildfire that devastated the town of Lahaina was 80% contained Thursday, but as the damage became clearer Hawaii’s governor said the disaster will likely be historic. None of the three fires burning were 100% contained, Maui County Fire Chief Brad Ventura said.
“What we saw was likely the largest natural disaster in Hawaii state history,” Governor Josh Green said. He compared it to the tsunami that struck the Big Island in 1960, killing 61 people.
The number of people confirmed dead in the wildfires rose Friday to 55, but officials don’t know how many people died in the fire in and around Lahaina or how many people may still be missing. Recovery of remains is expected to take days and weeks, the governor said.
On Thursday, President Joe Biden approved a major disaster declaration and ordered additional federal aid. Green said that will allow rental assistance and FEMA grants to people, and aid to small businesses.
Also Thursday, some airlines sent help. United canceled flights so empty planes could be flown to Maui to help tourists and other visitors leave. Alaska Airlines said it was sending rescue flights. County officials have asked visitors to leave in order to focus on the crisis. –NBC News
The wildfires have devastated Hawaii. What was once an ideal vacation spot is now a charred landscape. Residents had little warning before the fires raging took over.