In Hawaii, wildfires caused damage to structures, necessitated evacuations, and resulted in power outages across multiple communities as firefighters worked to reach affected areas due to downendrondroses.
The National Weather Service reported that Hurricane Dora, which was moving 500 miles (805 kilometers) south of the island chain, caused power outages, threw down homes, and grounded fire trucks.
Acting Governor Sylvia Luke activated the Hawaii National Guard and issued an emergency proclamation on behalf of Gov. Josh Green, who is traveling.
The number of buildings that were burned on Maui was not immediately known, as fire crews battled a series of arson episodes in the popular tourist area of West Mauil and an inland mountainous region.
Due to windy winds, helicopters were unable to pump water onto the fires from above, leading to road closures and power line jamming for firefighters working on inland fire.
On Tuesday night, Hawaiian Electric stated that roughly 13,000 customers in Maui were without power.
Martin stated that the day is going to be challenging for our island due to several fires and evacuations in different district areas.
According to her, inland Maui experienced winds of 80 mph (129 kph) and a fire that was expected to be contained earlier on Tuesday broke out hours later due to the strong winds.
According to Fire Assistant Chief Jeff Giesea, the fire can be so far out that it could be within a mile or two away from home.
The arrival of Hurricane Dora in the dry season was posing a challenge for firefighters.
According to Jeff Powell, a meteorologist from Honolulu, Hawaii is situated between soaring pressure in the north and brisk winds associated with Dora, which can result in dangerous fires that can quickly spread.
He stated that the fires were caused by Hurricane Dora, but it was not a direct result. He further clarified that these are “peripheral” results of the hurricane’s winds.
According to Maui Mayor Richard Bissen, a fire that covered roughly 1,100 acres (1.7 square miles) destroyed at least two homes and forced the evacuation of approximately 80 people from 40 homes in the Kula area.
According to Mayor Mitch Roth, around 400 homes have been evacuated from four communities in the northern part of the island, and one house had caught fire as of Tuesday.
Hawaii’s fires are distinct from those in the Western United States, as they typically occur in grasslands on the dry sides of the islands, and are generally much less significant than those found in other areas.
Fires were not common in Hawaii and other tropical islands before humans arrived, and the underlying ecosystems had evolved without them. As a result, fire can cause significant environmental damage by removing vegetation. Additionally, heavy rain can lead to loose soil and smothering of coral reefs when it occurs.
The Big Island experienced a significant fire in 2021, which resulted in the burning of homes and the evacuation of thousands.
Adam Weintraub, the communication director for the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, reported that power outages, downed power lines, and traffic issues were also impacting the island of Oahu, where Honolulu is situated.
According to Powell, the weather service had issued a warning of strong winds and red flags for hazardous fire conditions.
The weather was predicted to remain until Tuesday, but it would ease off by Wednesday and then disappear on Thursday.
Audrey McAvoy, a writer for the Associated Press, contributed to this report.