A significant number of tourists find themselves stranded at Kahului Airport on Maui, as raging wildfires have necessitated evacuations across the island. T
he wildfires, spurred by winds from Hurricane Dora, have spread across various islands, engulfing Maui from multiple directions.
Lahaina, too, has been heavily impacted by the fires, as reported by Newsweek. The root cause of these fires is believed to be a combination of scorching temperatures and arid conditions.
As a result of these dire circumstances, thousands of tourists staying on Maui were compelled to evacuate the island on Wednesday morning, leading to an overwhelming situation at Kahului Airport.
Is Maui OGG Airport Affected by the Wildfires?
As of Wednesday, more than 2,000 individuals find themselves stranded at Kahului Airport. Their flights have been either cancelled or have nowhere to land, as Newsweek has reported.
In response, Kahului Airport has stepped in to serve as a refuge for those fleeing the wildfires. The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) communicated on Wednesday that approximately 1,800 people took shelter overnight within the airport, according to a social media update from HDOT.
Maui is home to two other airports; however, Kahului Airport holds the primary status among them, serving as the gateway to all commercial airline operations on the island.
Being the second busiest airport in Hawaii, it plays a crucial role in accommodating the transportation needs of the region. The busiest airport in Hawaii is Honolulu International Airport.
Despite the challenging circumstances, Kahului Airport remains operational, especially for those who seek to leave Maui.
This information was conveyed by the Hawaii Department of Transportation through its official communication channels, including X (formerly known as Twitter), at 1:19 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday.
Newsweek made several attempts to contact Kapalua Airport via phone for comment, but all attempts resulted in a busy signal.
This isn’t the first time Kapalua Airport has been impacted by wildfires; Newsweek reported a similar incident in 2019 when a swift-moving brush fire in West Maui, Hawaii, affected the vicinity near Kapalua Airport. During that time, the airport was evacuated and temporarily shut down.
On a more positive note, Hana Airport, located on the east side of the island, stands far from the wildfire’s reach.
A representative from the airport manager’s office informed Newsweek that the airport is fully operational. However, no specific information was provided regarding the extent of flight cancellations or delays.