Hawaii Wildfires Are Prompting Mass Evacuations and a Travel Warning

The western and southern sides of Maui are currently being heavily impacted by wildfires.

Kjell Linder/Moment/Getty Images
Kjell Linder/Moment/Getty Images
Kjell Linder/Moment/Getty Images

Hawaii is currently being devastated by wildfires, which has led to major evacuations, travel advisories, road and school closures, and loss of power on Maui and Big Island.

The disastrous conditions are associated with Hurricane Dora, according to CNN. While it is currently located more than 500 miles south from the Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific Ocean, its strong winds have been helping the spread of the fires.

As per the last reports, there are at least three active wildfires across Maui, and affected areas include the West Side District (where both residential and commercial areas as well as resorts are located) and the Upcountry area, a residential zone where fires were previously estimated to be spread across roughly 1,000 acres as of this writing. In Lahaina, one of the most heavily impacted areas on the west side, 12 people-who were safely rescued by the Coast Guard-were forced to jump in the ocean to escape both the fire and smoke.Thousands of residents in Maui are without power as of this writing due to the strong winds, and both 911 and communications services are currently down on the west side of Maui. Reportedly, multiple schools in Maui will be closed today because of the dangerous conditions and the mandatory evacuation orders, according to the Hawaii Department of Education. Maui County officials also proceeded to close all roads to the public in Lahaina, and West Maui is currently closed to all traffic except for emergency staff.

Evacuations both on the west side and south side are currently underway following an emergency proclamation. Acting Governor Sylvia Luke has also discouraged non-essential air travel to Maui, and is encouraging tourists in West Maui to depart the island as soon as it is considered safe, the Star-Advertiser reports.

Both Kahului Airport (OGG) and Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport (KOA) remained open as of this writing, according to The Points Guy. Hawaiian Airlines is advising travelers to monitor their flights for further updates.As Mahina Martin, chief communications officer at the Maui Emergency Management Agency, told CNN, the south side has just been ordered to follow the evacuation protocol due to the already existing mandatory evacuation orders. Shelters are open both on the west and south sides of Maui, and more centers are scheduled to open up soon.

“In West Maui, we moved shelters away from the fire,” Martin told CNN. “There were 150 evacuees inside and 200 outside, and we’ve since relocated them to different emergency shelter outside of the district. Currently, we have four evacuation centers set up with another opening shortly.”

According to weather reports and forecasts, winds are expected to decrease in intensity this afternoon, and by Thursday they should subside even more. While rain is also expected, it is forecasted to hit the eastern side of Maui and not the areas affected by the fires.

On social media, videos of the terrifying conditions in Maui have already gone viral, and some users are taking to TikTok to spread further awareness and ask for compassion. “Whatever you believe in, Lahaina needs it right now,” reads the overtext in one TikTok published earlier today, which has already received almost 5 million views.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTikTokTwitterFacebookPinterest, and YouTube.

Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.


Mad Mex’s New Menu Item Is Inspired by a Popular Mexican Street Food

mad mex chicken al pastor

Mexican restaurant chain Mad Mex has dropped a new protein, and it’s one of the most popular street foods in Mexico.

Enter, Chicken Al Pastor. It’s traditionally made with pork and grilled on a spinning rotisserie with a pineapple sitting a top, but Mad Mex has put its own spin on it, serving chicken bathed in an Al Pastor marinade with a touch of juicy pineapple.

You can order the protein-packed filling in your favourite burrito, bowl, quesadilla, nachos, or in a taco.

As always, these things are here for a good time, not a long time. Pop into your local Mad Mex restaurant, order delivery or through the Mad Mex app today.

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