At least 36 individuals have lost their lives in Hawaii as wildfires fueled by the influence of Hurricane Dora and high-pressure winds have wreaked havoc across the islands.
The deadly wildfires have been exacerbated by a combination of Hurricane Dora’s distant impact and a strong ridge of high pressure situated north of the islands.
Gusty winds exceeding 70 mph have contributed to the rapid spread of the flames, causing extensive devastation and prompting emergency responses.
The fires have particularly affected areas such as Maui and the Big Island, leading to evacuations, destroyed structures, and disrupted travel.
The situation has prompted Hawaii’s Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke to issue an emergency proclamation, extending the state of emergency to all counties and urging non-essential air travel to Maui to be avoided.
As the wildfires continue to rage, the Hawaii Department of Transportation has provided shelter for displaced travelers, while the National Guard and U.S. Coast Guard have been deployed to assist in rescue and evacuation efforts.
The wildfire’s cause is still under investigation, with downed power lines and dry brush being considered potential contributing factors.
Efforts are underway to combat the blazes and mitigate their impact, with officials emphasizing the need to prioritize the safety and well-being of affected residents.