Fire rages on Maui

Maui fire latest news: Hawaii wildfire forces evacuations in Maalaea and Kihei today - Live updates

"We're not going to send any firefighters into harm's way".

"We are asking everyone to conserve energy, conserve water, and do what you can to be prepared", Mayor Mike Victorino said at the time.

A brush fire that erupted over fallow land Thursday morning in Maui caused thousands to be evacuated and temporarily disrupted the island's primary airport.

A brush fire has prompted thousands of evacuations and diverted some flights on the Hawaii island of Maui, officials said Thursday.

Mandatory evacuations, since lifted, covered residents and visitors in the Maalaea and North Kihei region.

"I encourage the public, if you need to call 911, keep calling in and you'll get through eventually", he said.

Officials say the fire started along Kuihelani Highway, which runs between Kahului and Maalaea, Thursday morning.

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"This fire is still an active threat to our community, and residents are urged to remain vigilant of changing conditions", Victorino stated on the county's website.

Shortly after news of the fire broke, people began tweeting Winfrey to see if she could share her gate code, which would allow residents to evacuate the area on the Hawaiian island quickly and safely. '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.

The Maui Race Park shared on July 12 that despite the fire, their structures escaped any major damage and the track is fine, but dirty.

According to Hawaii's Department of Transportation, flights had been diverted from Kahului Airport, which was operating briefly on a power generator a result of the fire, but power has been restored and flights have resumed, transportation officials said. Maui high school was accommodating about 200 cats and dogs moved from a local animal shelter, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

Maui Electric said about 4,000 customers in parts of South Maui lost power Thursday at around 1:50 p.m. due to the fire. The transmission line from Ma'aleaea Power Plant to Kihei was damaged in the fire.

The County of Maui's Facebook page is providing updates on road closures and evacuations.

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