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Aerial photos show total destruction as wildfires ravage historic Lahaina, Hawaii

An aerial image taken Aug. 10, 2023, shows destroyed homes and buildings burned to the ground in Lahaina in the aftermath of wildfires in western Maui, Hawaii.
Patrick T. Fallon | AFP | Getty Images
The hall of historic Waiola Church in Lahaina and nearby Lahaina Hongwanji Mission are engulfed in flames along Wainee Street in Lahaina, Hawaii, Aug. 8, 2023.
Matthew Thayer/ | The Maui News | AP
The hall of historic Waiola Church in Lahaina and nearby Lahaina Hongwanji Mission are engulfed in flames along Wainee Street in Lahaina, Hawaii, Aug. 8, 2023.

Wildfires in Hawaii have devastated the historic city of Lahaina, the former capital of the islands when they were an independent kingdom.

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Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz, who surveyed the damage, said the city had been "reduced to ashes."

At least 96 people have been killed by the fires as search, rescue and recovery operations continue. Gov. Josh Green said hundreds of homes have been destroyed, leaving thousands without shelter.

Lahaina carries deep cultural significance to Hawaiians. King Kamehameha I established Lahaina as his royal residence in the early 19th century.

"It's absolutely heartbreaking. The recovery process will be long, but we're committed to these families and communities," Schatz said on social media.

Wildfire devastation is seen outside the city of Lahaina, Hawaii, Aug. 10, 2023.
Rick Bowmer | AP
Wildfire devastation is seen outside the city of Lahaina, Hawaii, Aug. 10, 2023.
An aerial image taken Aug. 10, 2023, shows destroyed homes and buildings burned to the ground in Lahaina in the aftermath of wildfires in western Maui, Hawaii.
Patrick T. Fallon | AFP | Getty Images
An aerial image taken Aug. 10, 2023, shows destroyed homes and buildings burned to the ground in Lahaina in the aftermath of wildfires in western Maui, Hawaii.
An aerial image taken Aug. 10, 2023, shows a person walking down Front Street past destroyed buildings burned to the ground in Lahaina in the aftermath of wildfires in western Maui, Hawaii.
Patrick T. Fallon | Afp | Getty Images
An aerial image taken Aug. 10, 2023, shows a person walking down Front Street past destroyed buildings burned to the ground in Lahaina in the aftermath of wildfires in western Maui, Hawaii.
An aerial image taken Aug. 10, 2023, shows destroyed cars in Lahaina in the aftermath of wildfires in western Maui, Hawaii.
Patrick T. Fallon | AFP | Getty Images
An aerial image taken Aug. 10, 2023, shows destroyed cars in Lahaina in the aftermath of wildfires in western Maui, Hawaii.
An aerial image taken Aug. 10, 2023, shows destroyed homes and buildings on the waterfront burned to the ground in Lahaina in the aftermath of the wildfires in western Maui, Hawaii.
Patrick T. Fallon | AFP | Getty Images
An aerial image taken Aug. 10, 2023, shows destroyed homes and buildings on the waterfront burned to the ground in Lahaina in the aftermath of the wildfires in western Maui, Hawaii.
A burned boat is seen in the waters fronting Lahaina after wildfires driven by high winds burned across most of the town several days ago, Maui, Hawaii, Aug.10, 2023.
Marco Garcia | Reuters
A burned boat is seen in the waters fronting Lahaina after wildfires driven by high winds burned across most of the town several days ago, Maui, Hawaii, Aug.10, 2023.
An aerial image taken Aug. 10, 2023, shows destroyed homes and buildings burned to the ground in Lahaina in the aftermath of wildfires in western Maui, Hawaii.
Patrick T. Fallon | Afp | Getty Images
An aerial image taken Aug. 10, 2023, shows destroyed homes and buildings burned to the ground in Lahaina in the aftermath of wildfires in western Maui, Hawaii.
Wildfire wreckage is shown Aug. 10, 2023, in Lahaina, Hawaii. The search of the wildfire wreckage on the Hawaiian island of Maui revealed a wasteland of burned-out homes and obliterated communities as firefighters battled the stubborn blaze, making it the deadliest in the U.S. in recent years.
Rick Bowmer | AP
Wildfire wreckage is shown Aug. 10, 2023, in Lahaina, Hawaii. The search of the wildfire wreckage on the Hawaiian island of Maui revealed a wasteland of burned-out homes and obliterated communities as firefighters battled the stubborn blaze, making it the deadliest in the U.S. in recent years.
Two Hawaii Army National Guard CH47 Chinook perform aerial water bucket drops on the island of Maui to fight the wildfires, Maui, Hawaii, Aug. 9, 2023.
Air Force Master Sgt. Andrew Jackson
Two Hawaii Army National Guard CH47 Chinook perform aerial water bucket drops on the island of Maui to fight the wildfires, Maui, Hawaii, Aug. 9, 2023.
An aerial view of Lahaina after wildfires burned through the town on the Hawaiian island of Maui, Aug. 10, 2023.
Patrick T. Fallon | AFP | Getty Images
An aerial view of Lahaina after wildfires burned through the town on the Hawaiian island of Maui, Aug. 10, 2023.
An aerial view shows the community of Lahaina after wildfires driven by high winds burned across most of the town several days ago in Lahaina, Hawaii, Aug. 10, 2023.
Marco Garcia | Reuters
An aerial view shows the community of Lahaina after wildfires driven by high winds burned across most of the town several days ago in Lahaina, Hawaii, Aug. 10, 2023.
An aerial view shows the community of Lahaina after wildfires driven by high winds burned across most of the town several days ago, Lahaina, Hawaii, Aug. 10, 2023.
Marco Garcia | Reuters
An aerial view shows the community of Lahaina after wildfires driven by high winds burned across most of the town several days ago, Lahaina, Hawaii, Aug. 10, 2023.
Cars drive away from Lahaina after wildfires driven by high winds burned across most of the town several days ago, Maui, Hawaii, Aug. 10, 2023.
Marco Garcia | Reuters
Cars drive away from Lahaina after wildfires driven by high winds burned across most of the town several days ago, Maui, Hawaii, Aug. 10, 2023.
Wildfire wreckage is shown in Lahaina, Hawaii, Aug. 10, 2023.
Rick Bowmer | AP
Wildfire wreckage is shown in Lahaina, Hawaii, Aug. 10, 2023.
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