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  • 1440 Daily Digest

Wildfires Devastate Hawaii

At least six people were killed and dozens more injured yesterday as fast-moving flames spread across western Maui and the Big Island in Hawaii. Winds from nearby Hurricane Dora, a Category 4 storm, accelerated the spread of the fire. Thousands more were forced to evacuate amid widespread power outages and school closures, while the historic coastal town of Lahaina was reportedly destroyed by the flames.

Low humidity, high winds, and dry conditions primed the region for the blazes, which tend to be smaller in scope than those common in the western contiguous US. The threat to Lahaina arrived so abruptly that some residents reportedly fled into the ocean; firefighters counted 12 rescued from the water. Many of the town's iconic businesses along Front Street are believed to be burned down.

Emergency proclamations released federal funds to deal with the natural disaster, described by some as Hawaii's worst in three decades. Analysts expected the winds to die down by today.

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