Some Hawaii residents lose homes after brush fires hit Maui

Some Hawaii residents lose homes after brush fires hit Maui
Bryan Harnden via CNN

Brush fires on Maui destroyed or damaged seven homes, officials said Friday.

With Hurricane Lane slowly approaching Hawaii, the three fires scorched a total of 2,330 acres, Maui Fire Battalion Chief Michael Werner said.

Maui County communications director Rod Antone said earlier that an overnight brush fire, near Lahaina’s Kauaula Valley, led to the evacuation of more than 100 homes. The fire burned 1,500 acres before it was contained.

At least one person suffered serious burns and about 4,000 Maui Electric customers have lost power, CNN affiliate Hawaii News Now reported.

People evacuated were allowed to return home Friday afternoon.

The cause of the fires has not been determined, Antone said.

A Twitter user named Stephen Lai tweeted a photo of a tower of gray smoke rising into the night sky with the message: “So this is currently happening on our last night in Maui…and no I’m not talking about #HurricaneLane it’s a fire in Lahaina.”

The storm, which has weakened to a Category 1 cyclone, unleashed landslides and flooding as its outer rain bands hit parts of Hawaii’s Big Island. More of the same is anticipated on the rest of the islands into the weekend.

Lane’s center is expected to pass close to parts of the islands of Oahu, Maui, Lanai and Molokai late Friday, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center said.