August 10. Wildfires on Maui have largely destroyed the town of Lahaina, a historic capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii and a popular tourist destination spot. Thousands of residents have evacuated their homes, while 36 have reportedly died as a result of the fires. The banyan tree that was imported to the island 150 years ago and sat along Front Street has been burned.
Making matters worse, strong winds by the nearby Hurricane Dora, a category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph, are fanning the flames.
According to an update late Wednesday night by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, “Visitors who are on non-essential travel are being asked to leave Maui and non-essential travel to Maui is strongly discouraged at this time. In the days and weeks ahead, our collective resources and attention must be focused on the recovery of residents and communities that were forced to evacuate their homes and businesses.
“Visitors who have travel plans to West Maui in the coming weeks are encouraged to consider rescheduling their travel plans for a later time.
“Visitors with travel plans to stay in other parts of Maui and the Mauna Kea Resort area of Hawaiʻi Island in the coming weeks are encouraged to contact their hotels for updated information and how their travel plans may be affected. Travel to Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi and other parts of Hawaiʻi Island are not affected at this time.”
Source: Travel Agent Central