What to know about the wildfires
- As many as 55 people have now been confirmed dead in the wildfires that tore through Maui, and mass evacuations of residents and tourists continue.
- Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen said Friday morning the death toll “could go up.” So far, victims were found outside buildings, the interior of structures have not yet been searched.
- Six fires are still burning in Maui and the Big Island, but officials said the Lahaina fire is now 80% contained. Many of the town’s historic landmarks are lost.
- Hawaii Gov. Josh Green said the fires are likely to be the largest natural disaster in the state’s history. It appears like a “bomb” went off, he said.
- Survivors have spoken of the harrowing experience of losing their homes.
- NBC News’ Miguel Almaguer, Dana Griffin and Steve Patterson are reporting from Maui.
New photos show Hawaiian officials walking through the scorched remains of Lahaina on Thursday, where buildings were reduced to piles of rubble and mangled metal. Maui County shared the photos showing Bissen and Green walking along the once-bustling Front Street, the historical Sugar Cane Train and Banyan Court, all eerily quiet and covered in soot.
One photo shows the historic Lahaina banyan tree, which was planted in April 1873. The massive exotic Indian banyan stands over 60 feet high and has 46 major trunks according to the Lahaina Restoration Foundation. It appeared to be standing strong, with smoke damage visible by some bases.