Maui Wildfire Burns 10000 Acres: Friday Updates

Maui Runaway Brush Fire Prompts Order To Evacuate

Smoke from the brush fire raging in central Maui, Hawaii, is seen in a video screengrab from HawaiiNewsNow, July 11, 2019.

More than 600 people fled as the blaze scorched 3,000 acres, the mayor's office said.

Thousands of people on Hawaii's Maui Island have been ordered to evacuate from two communities after a spreading wildfire sent smoke billowing into the sky.

As darkness set in, the mayor said firefighters would not bring it under control overnight.

Maui firefighters continued to monitor the wildfire that consumed an estimated 10,000 acres of fallow former sugar cane and dry brush on Thursday.

"We can't fight the fire tonight", he said.

The fire was initially reported at 10:42 a.m. local time.

The fire were being fanned by 20 miles per hour winds, with at least two helicopters carrying out water drops to trying douse the flames.

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While thousands were ordered to evacuate, it was unclear how many people had left the west Maui coastal towns of Maalaea and Kihei.

Maui Mayor Mike Victorino told a press conference the fire started on Thursday morning local time.

For roadways, North Kihei Road, Kuihelani Highway and Maui Veterans Highway reopened Thursday night to two-way traffic.

People forced from their homes are being advised to seek shelter at the War Memorial Gymnasium, the Kihei Community Center, or Kamalii Elementary School, with almost 500 people having done so by the early evening.

Opra Winfrey, who owns a home on Maui, allowed County officials access to her private road. The island's humane society was evacuated as well, and volunteers transported animals to an evacuation site at Maui High School.

Victorino says there's been no reports of injuries or significant property damage so far.

Some flights to the island's main airport in Kahului were diverted because the fire was affecting access to the facility, the state Department of Transportation said on Twitter. 'A big mahalo to Oprah for giving Maui County access to your private road for use to assist in the Maui fire, ' Hawaii Gov. David Ige tweeted.

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