Deadly Hawaii wildfires burn historic town
August 10, 2023 - Wildfires fanned by hurricane winds have killed at least 36 people and devastated the historic town of Lahaina on Hawaii’s Maui island.
The fires have been fanned by strong winds from passing Hurricane Dora, destroying hundreds of buildings and burning some areas to the ground.
Thousands of people have been forced to evacuate their homes on the island and a state of emergency has been declared.
Lahaina, a town of around 12,000 people, is the largest tourist destination on Maui and home to multiple large hotels.
The historic town holds strong cultural significance. It was the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom under Kings Kamehameha II and III from 1820 to 1845 and served as a main port for the North Pacific whaling fleet, according to the National Park Service.
The situation in Hawaii recallsscenes of devastation elsewhere in the world this summer, as wildfires caused by record-setting heat forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people in Greece, Spain, Portugal, and other parts of Europe, and western Canada suffered unusually severe fires.