A wildfire that erupted Thursday morning on the Hawaii island of Maui burned 10,000 acres and forced thousands to evacuate.
Maui County Mayor Michael Victonino said in a release that the fire is "still an active threat to our community".
Reported at 10:42 a.m. near the intersection of Waiko Road and Kuihelani Highway, the blaze quickly jumped the Kuihelani Highway, while pushed by 15 to 20 miles per hour winds. The fire was moving south across fallow fields with no structures immediately threatened, he said. Maui high school was accommodating about 200 cats and dogs moved from a local animal shelter, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.More news: China to sanction US firms in Taiwan arms sale
The County of Maui's Facebook page is providing updates on road closures and evacuations.
A Hawaii brush fire so large it could be seen from outer space triggered the temporary evacuation of almost 600 people as it tore through about 10,000 acres of old sugar cane fields and dry vegetation, according to new reports.
Mandatory evacuations, since lifted, covered residents and visitors in the Maalaea and North Kihei region.More news: Tropical Storm Barry Creeps Closer As Gulf Coast Prepares To Be Drenched
Shortly after 6 p.m. local time, Hawaii's Department of Transportation announced that Maui's airport resumed normal operations and some roads and highways, including Kuihelani Highway, were reopened. At about 2:15 p.m., thick smoke was blowing across Maui Veterans Highway and vehicles were turning around at the Humane Society. First responders were on the scene with water tankers and bulldozers. The department also has received assistance with bulldozers from West Maui Land Co., Goodfellow Bros. and the county Department of Public Works.
Traffic was slow on Honoapiilani Highway in both directions in Waikapu and Wailuku. Two helicopters were also being used to airdrop water. The transmission line from Ma'aleaea Power Plant to Kihei was damaged in the fire.
The company said in an update Friday that it is continuing to monitor the fire and take preventative measures at the Maalaea Generating Station.More news: Idiotic Behavior: US Mom Records Daughter Licking Medical Tools
Oprah Winfrey, who owns a property on Maui, opened a private road on Thursday to assist Maui County officials in dealing with the fire.