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Tourists were being evacuated frantically from popular Maui hotels as wind-fueled wildfires ravaged Hawaii's second largest island Tuesday overnight into Wednesday.

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Tourists Given Little Time to Evacuate Maui Hotels and Residents Forced to Leave Pets Behind As Wind Gusts Spread Wildfire.

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Mass evacuations clogged roads all across the island, with other areas closed off from traffic altogether. Those in unaffected areas were urged to stay home and off the roads.

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Residents trying to evacuate were seen driving through the flame-covered streets of Lahaina, steering around burning objects. The smoke was so thick, the driver was having a hard time seeing in front of him.

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Did You Know?

The biggest wildfire in recorded US history is the 1825 Miramichi Fire. It blazed through an estimated 3,000,000 million acres and claimed at least 160 lives.

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Residents of the Kaanapali Golf Estates have also been ordered to evacuate, as the fires inch closer towards thatarea of Lah aina. A large wildfire also is burning in the North Kihei area of Maui. 

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The fire was spreading faster than expected in North Kihei, one resident said, due to the 60 mph winds from a distant Hurricane Dora. The fire spread so quickly, an evacuation center in Kihei was closed on Wednesday.

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Acting Gov. Sylvia Luke  said that she'd like to evacuate tourists to another island, and will work with local airlines to arrange flights to other islands. Gov. Josh Green is out of town.

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Fortunately, winds are starting to calm in Maui, where officials have downgraded a "High Wind Advisory" to a simple "Wind Advisory." Wind speeds are expected to drop gradually throughout today and tomorrow.

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