The destruction left behind by wind-powered, dry environment-fueled wildfires in Hawaii has devastated parts of the island state. On Maui, residents and travelers were shocked to see the damage the blazes caused in just hours and days.
A horrifyingly large part of Maui's historic Lahaina touristic district on Maui was all but destroyed in many areas. The death toll had reached at least 53 people by Thursday.
At least 9,000 people in Lahaina alone were affected.
Hundreds of buildings were affected by the fires and hundreds of families were displaced.
Scripps News was at a Maui airport where thousands of tourists were trying to evacuate the island. Most of the flights were on time on Thursday after a list of cancellations earlier in the week.
Scripps New confirmed that around 11,000 people were attempting to evacuate as the wildfires continued to burn.
Travelers who left Maui and touched down on the U.S. mainland's West coast said they were exhausted after getting a pre-evacuation warning, then having sometimes less than an hour to gather their belongings and evacuate.
Ed Sniffen of the Hawaii Department of Transportation said, "We really appreciate what the airlines have done ... Alaska, Delta, United, and American have increased capacity by bringing in larger planes to ensure we get more seats to get people off the island."
Southwest and Hawaiian Airlines worked together to add more than a dozen flights this week.
Hawaii's Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke said, "This is not a safe place to be."
And the satellite images over Hawaii tell that story.
As a hurricane moved across the Pacific Ocean hundreds of miles away from the Hawaiian islands, at least three fires on Maui were pushed and powered by the strong winds it created.
The Biden administration ordered that federal assets be allocated to help Hawaii battle the blazes.
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