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Maui Fire: People and animals are evacuated while a fire burns over 3,000 acres



The fire had seared 3,000 acres in the center of Mauil and led to evictions of residents of Kihei and Maalaea when it got out of hand on Thursday, CNN subsidiary KGMB reported. The Maui Humane Society brought their animals in boxes and kennels to a nearby high school.

As darkness fell, Maui Mayor Mike Victorino said the fire department would not take over control overnight.

"We can not fight the fire tonight, we will not endanger firefighters," Victorino said Thursday.

Maui County activated its Emergency Operations Center to respond to the fire Thursday morning. In the afternoon, the flames burned out of control, and rescue workers sent a mobile warning warning local residents that they should be evacuated.

Oprah has a home in the county and tweets a local resident to confirm that she has granted access to her private road to officials fighting the fire. "A great Mahalo for Oprah granting Maui County access to your private road so you can help with the Maui fire," tweeted Hawaii Governor David Ige.

The flights at Kahului airport were diverted for a short time, but the operation has returned to normal. The fire affected access to the airport, which was powered by emergency generators. The Hawaii Tourism Authority has warned visitors flying to or from the airport to contact their airline for power issues to request flight status.


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