Published: Sat, July 13, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Residents Allowed to Return Home After Maui Fire Burns 10,000 Acres

Residents Allowed to Return Home After Maui Fire Burns 10,000 Acres

Residents in the coastal communities of Maalea and Kihei were ordered to evacuate after the fire, which began Thursday morning, spread out of control, Hawaii News Now reports.

Mayor Mike Victorino said the 3,000-acre brush fire in Maui's central valley was uncontrolled on Thursday night but it was too risky for fire crews to battle it in the dark.

But the good news is that the fire is now 20 percent contained, while on Thursday it was 0 percent contained. We're not going to send any firefighters into harm's way, ' Victorino said Thursday. Officials advised drivers that road closures and reopenings may occur quickly throughout the area of the second fire.

Neighbouring Big Island is still recovering from last year's eruptive activity at Kilauea volcano, which forced more than a thousand people to be evacuated, as well as destroying more than 700 buildings.

But three shelters housed about 500 people late Thursday, media reports said. An evacuation notice was sent to the cell phones of residents in the town of Maalaea and in parts of Kihei, a Maui County official told the outlet. You may need to reposition the map to see the details and the legend, depending on your browser, or you can just go here to see the full map. Two helicopters from the fire department also dropped water on the blaze to try to contain it.

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A plume of smoke from a brush fire closes Kuihelani Highway in Central Maui, Hawaii.

The National Weather Service released footage of the smoke from a weather satellite.

Flights at Kahului Airport were briefly diverted, but operations have returned to normal.

Maui residents who evacuated their homes because of a wildfire are allowed to return, the County of Maui announced Friday on Facebook.

There were also concerns about the safety of hundreds of dogs, cats and other animals threatened by the blaze, with the the Maui Humane Society rescuing several hundred of them.

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