Hawaii Fire Rages
The death toll from the wildfires in Maui has risen to at least 53 people, with dozens more injured, as the fast-moving fire spread across the Hawaiian island that is home to more than 160,000 residents. The Maui fires are at least 80% contained and the Big Island fires are at least 60% contained as of this writing. The fires were spurred by low humidity and dry conditions brought on by a moderate drought affecting over a third of Maui's 735 square miles. The fires were intensified by powerful winds from Hurricane Dora, a storm located around 1,000 miles away from Honolulu, bringing enhanced winds to the island. Thousands have been evacuated, with at least 14 rescued after seeking refuge in the ocean. In the town of Lahaina—once the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii—more than 270 buildings were damaged or destroyed, including the historic Baldwin Home, which had been standing since the 1830s. On average, an estimated 0.5% of Hawaii’s total land area burns each year. See photos of the damage here.