Maui Hawaii’s Lahaina fire has claimed the lives of at least 36 individuals, according to a statement made by Maui County and published on the county website on Wednesday night. More than 200 buildings have been burnt or damaged by wildfires, and thousands of people have been evacuated. Hawaii’s WAILUKU (AP) — The deadliest fire in the United States in years ravaged the Hawaiian island of Maui, killing 36 people and destroying hundreds of homes and other structures due to wildfires sparked by a dry summer and strong winds from a passing hurricane.Lahaina, the largest town on the island’s west side and a longtime tourist hotspot, was searched by rescuers through the levelled, desolate homes and stores on Thursday. Lahaina dates to the 1700s. As local officials prepared to evacuate thousands of tourists and secure refuge for island inhabitants who needed it, firefighters continued to battle fires there.The island was caught off guard when the fire broke out on Tuesday and swept through parched vegetation, leaving behind burned-out automobiles on once-busy streets and smoking piles of debris where ancient structures once stood. Some folks had only a few minutes to act before the flames forced them to run into the water.Maui County stated in a news statement issued late on Wednesday that at least 36 persons had passed away, but no other information was provided. Earlier, authorities said that 271 structures had been damaged or destroyed, along with numerous injuries. The Camp Fire in California in 2018 killed at least 85 people and nearly levelled the town of Paradise, making it the deadliest fire since then. Officials issued a warning that the death toll on Maui would increase.”These fires were big and moving quickly, and we’ve only just started to get a handle on them and confine them. We therefore have high hopes but are also ready for the worst. On Thursday, Adam Weintraub, a representative for the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”Residents of Lahaina, Kamuela Kawaakoa and Iiulia Yasso, spoke about their terrifying escape on Tuesday afternoon under hazy skies. After a quick trip to the grocery store for water, the couple and their 6-year-old son returned to their flat, but they barely had time to change before the bushes around them started to burn.Kawaakoa said, “We barely made it out,” at an evacuation shelter on Wednesday, without knowing whether their flat had any remaining possessions.A senior centre across the street caught fire as the family ran away.They dialled 911, but they were unsure if anyone was still inside. Utility poles that were down and people escaping in cars hindered their progress as they drove away. The 34-year-old Kawaakoa stated, “It was so hard to sit there and just watch my town burn to ashes and not be able to do anything.”According to Ed Sniffen, state transportation director, tourists were warned to avoid the area as the flames raged. As a result, some 11,000 people left Maui by plane on Wednesday, and another 1,500 are anticipated to depart on Thursday. To accommodate the thousands of evacuated people, authorities in Honolulu prepared the Hawaii Convention Centre.Richard Bissen Jr., the mayor of Maui County, claimed that the island had “been tested like never before in our lifetime.” In a recorded statement, he stated, “We are suffering together during this painful moment. As we rebuild with resiliency and aloha, we will be stronger as a “kaiaulu,” or community.Strong gusts from Hurricane Dora, which passed well to the south, fuelled the fires. It is the most recent in a string of catastrophes brought on by harsh weather this summer. According to experts, the likelihood of these events is rising due to climate change.In Hawaii, wildfires are not uncommon, but Thomas Smith, an associate professor of environmental geography at the London School of Economics and Political Science, noted that the recent weather in Hawaii provided the perfect conditions for a destructive fire to start, and that once it did, the fire’s high winds caused the calamity.With below-average spring precipitation and little to no summer rainfall, the vegetation in Maui’s lowland sections is particularly parched this year.Mayor Mitch Roth noted that there had been no reports of injuries or homes being damaged on the Big Island, but that there were now blazes there as well.On Maui, winds on Wednesday slightly decreased, allowing pilots to see the full extent of the destruction. Aerial footage from Lahaina shows scores of buildings destroyed, including those on Front Street, where visitors used to congregate for dining and shopping. The harbour was filled with burned-out boats, and leafless skeletons of charred trees were surrounded by high piles of smoking wreckage.