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The Latest: Hawaii governor declares disaster for Maui fire

July 13, 2019
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An out of control wildfire that began along a major Central Maui highway burns Thursday July 11, 2019, in Maui, Hawaii. Hawaii emergency officials ordered an evacuation on Maui due to the runaway brush fire. (Matthew Thayer/The News via AP)

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) — The Latest on a brush fire on the Hawaii island of Maui (all times local):

2:35 p.m.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige is declaring Maui a disaster area as a brush fire burns a large expanse of former sugar cane fields.

Ige said Friday the proclamation allows the state to provide quick and efficient relief to those affected by the fire.

The fire is about 20% contained after burning 14 square miles (36 square kilometers) since Thursday.

Maui Fire Department officials said hot, dry and windy conditions could worsen the fire. The National Guard is helping firefighters and conducting water drops with a helicopter.

Maui firefighters are also battling another blaze in the town of Kahului near several retail stores.

The fire is moving away from buildings, so the Maui Police Department isn’t ordering evacuations. But the Lowe’s hardware store is voluntarily evacuating people from its store.

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10 a.m.

Officials say a Hawaii brush fire that prompted evacuation orders and diverted flights is far from contained.

Maui Fire Department officials said hot, dry and windy conditions Friday could worsen the fire. The National Guard are helping firefighters and conducting water drops with a helicopter.

The blaze fueled by dry brush and strong winds erupted Thursday on northwestern side of the island, burning 14 square miles (36 square kilometers) of fields. It’s partially contained.

The Maui News reports that the flames moved toward two communities, leading authorities to order mandatory evacuations for up to 3,000 people and open shelters Thursday. The orders have been lifted.

Airlines are working to bring in extra flights to Kahului Airport for more than 500 passengers who had travel plans canceled Thursday.

No injuries have been reported.

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