Tragedy strikes as fires ravage Maui, leaving a devastating trail of destruction. The death toll stands at 53, with dozens injured and countless structures reduced to ash. Residents of the historic town of Lahaina have been forced to evacuate, as the flames continue to threaten homes and lives.

“What we saw was likely the largest natural disaster in Hawaii state history,” Hawaii Gov. Josh Green said in a public briefing Thursday.

“Lahaina, with a few rare exceptions, has been burned down,” Green told The Associated Press. More than 1,000 structures were destroyed by fires that were still burning, he said.

Already the state’s deadliest natural disaster since a 1960 tsunami killed 61 people on the Big Island, the death toll will likely rise further as search and rescue operations continue, Green added.

“We are heartsick,” Green said.

The official death toll of 53 as of Thursday makes this the deadliest U.S. wildfire since the 2018 Camp Fire in California, which killed at least 85 people and laid waste to the town of Paradise.

Here are some videos showing Lahaina burnt to the ground



The wildfires on Maui were initially fueled in part by the strong winds associated with Hurricane Dora, which is churning hundreds of miles away. However, the situation has rapidly escalated, and most of the fires have yet to be contained. With nearly 11,000 customers still without power, firefighters continue to battle the blazes, with many local residents forced to evacuate their homes.

The damage to homes and businesses has been extensive, with large portions of the town of Lahaina completely burnt to the ground. Witnesses describe the devastation as far-reaching and overwhelming, with many struggling to come to terms with what they’ve lost. As the fires continue to spread, officials are scrambling to contain them and protect the lives and homes of those in their path.

In response to the disaster, President Joe Biden has approved a disaster declaration to provide more federal aid to Hawaii. The extra support is critical, as local authorities grapple with the scale of the devastation and try to provide assistance to those affected. However, rebuilding will be a long and difficult road ahead, and people must remain vigilant and continue to provide support as the community recovers.

Despite the tragedy of the wildfires, there are some glimmers of hope. Community organizations are banding together to provide assistance and comfort to those affected, while firefighters continue to work tirelessly to put out the flames. As we look towards the future, we must take steps to ensure that we’re prepared for these types of disasters and take measures to prevent them from happening in the first place.

The wildfires on Maui have left a profound impact on the local community, claiming the lives of many and leveling homes and businesses. As the situation continues to develop, it’s critical that we remain informed and offer support where we can. We must come together as a community to help rebuild what’s been lost and take measures to prevent these types of tragedies from happening again.