Maui Fires: is it safe to travel to Hawaii right now?
The wildfires that swept across the western and central parts of the island of Maui in Hawaii have claimed the lives of dozens of people. The fires were fanned by the strong winds of Hurricane Dora, and several neighborhoods have burned to the ground. Find out more about where the fires are burning and whether it is safe to travel to Hawaii right now
Devastating wildfires on the Hawaiian island of Maui destroyed the historic West Coast resort town of Lahaina, which attracted two million tourists each year. Fires also affected the cities of Kihei in the southwest and Kula in the center of the island. To a lesser extent, the disaster also affected the Big Island of Hawaii.
The death toll on Maui has risen to 89, making it the deadliest fire in the US in more than 100 years. As a result of bad weather, 11,000 tourists were evacuated, many flights were canceled.
The fire is still being extinguished. Therefore, tourists are faced with the question - is it safe to travel to Hawaii now? We will talk about the situation in the state later.
Is it safe to travel to Tenerife? Read here what the forest fires mean for your trip and whether you should cancel your trip.
Where is the fire raging in Hawaii?
The bad weather has been going on for several days, the fires started on August 8. So far, they are limited to the two main islands of the state - Maui and the Big Island. On Maui, the disaster mainly affected the western part of the island. Several areas of Lahaina, where most of the island's hotels are located, were completely burned. The harbor area was also destroyed.
The Big Island, known as the island of Hawaii, was also affected by the fires, although the damage was not as extensive as on Maui. The flames have engulfed a large percentage of the northern part of the island, including Mauna Kea, Waimea, and North and South Kohala. In these areas, mainly residents were affected by the fires, as it is not a key tourist resort. Local authorities suggest that the death toll may rise, as hundreds of people are still uncontacted.
Is it safe to travel to Hawaii right now?
Hawaii is very popular among tourists and a relatively safe place to travel.
Forest fires occur in Hawaii every year. Of course, scientists claim that their number has increased fourfold in recent decades. The reason lies in human influence, drier and hotter summers and non-native plant species that are more susceptible to fires. Hurricane season also runs from June 1 to November 30 in the state.
A combination of intense heat, drought and the rapid spread of fires from strong winds from Hurricane Dora, which is raging over the Pacific Ocean south of the islands, have contributed to the latest devastating fires in the Hawaiian Islands.
The weather has now covered Maui and the Big Island, so the rest of the Hawaiian Islands remain safe for travel.
Check the Visit World portal for entry rules and the necessary list of documents for traveling to Hawaii for citizens of different countries.
What if I have a trip to Hawaii booked?
If your planned vacation is to take place in one of the Hawaiian Islands that was not affected by the fire, then there are no reasons to cancel the trip. If you still decide to postpone the trip, the travel operator will consider such actions as unwillingness to travel, so you will not be able to receive a refund.
If your future trip is to Maui or the Big Island, contact your tour operator. The Hawaiian government advised against non-essential travel to Maui, and a number of flights were canceled altogether. Therefore, your operator may offer to cancel the trip with a full refund or change the date of the trip or choose another destination.
Which flights to Hawaii have been cancelled?
There are no mass cancellations of flights to Hawaii. All airports on the islands are now open and operating normally. However, several airlines, including American Airlines, canceled flights to Kahului Airport on Maui. All departures from Hawaii continue to operate as usual.
Travelers scheduled to fly to Maui in the next few days will be able to change or cancel their flights without penalty.
This summer, record summer temperatures are being observed all over the world, and they are also causing fires. Thousands of people have been evacuated from Greece, Spain and Portugal as southern Europe battles wildfires. A series of wildfires in western Canada has caused a smoke screen over vast areas of the United States. Therefore, when planning a trip abroad, be sure to take care of a travel insurance policy, which will protect you from unforeseen situations during the trip and compensate for unplanned expenses - for treatment, in case of lost luggage, flight cancellation, etc.
Products from Visit World for a comfortable trip:
Medical insurance all over the world;
Legal advice from a local specialist on visa and migration issues (to receive the service, select the country of interest and citizenship).
We monitor the accuracy and relevance of our information. Therefore, if you see any error or discrepancy, please write to our hotline.
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