Hawaii Fires: Death Toll Climbs to 36 as Flames Engulf Maui

Article originally appeared on www.breitbart.com.

The death toll in the wildfires ravaging Hawaii climbed to 36 late Wednesday evening, Maui County officials said.

The identities of those killed were not included in the brief statement which confirmed “firefighting efforts continue.”

As Breitbart News reported, earlier in the day the toll stood at six in a wildfire that has razed the resort town of Lahaina on the island of Maui, as desperate residents jumped into the ocean in a bid to escape the fast-moving flames.

Other residents and visitors raced to escape via available air routes.

U.S. Coast Guard officers plucked at least a dozen people from the water as emergency services were overwhelmed by a disaster that appeared to have erupted almost without warning and has burnt entire neighbourhoods to the ground.

The wildfires, driven by strong winds from Hurricane Dora passing far to the south, took the island of Maui by surprise, leaving behind burned-out cars on once busy streets and smoking piles of rubble where historic century-old buildings had once stood.

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