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Hawaii wildfires continue to burn in the Upcountry Maui town of Kula: "We're still on edge"

Maui wildfires ravage Upcountry town
Maui Upcountry fires leave residents homeless, fearful of future 02:15

Much of the world's attention amid Maui's wildfires has been focused on Lahaina, which bore the brunt of the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century. But the raging blaze that hit the historic town was among several that have wreaked havoc across Maui.

In the Upcountry town of Kula, located just 25 miles east of the Lahaina disaster, firefighters are still battling smaller blazes that have ravaged approximately 700 acres and claimed 19 homes, leaving residents grappling with loss. 

"We're still on edge," said Kula resident Aaron McVeigh. "We do not feel like we're out of the woods yet. Like not at all." 

McVeigh, Jack Swink and their roommates said they saved not just their home amid the fire, but also their whole block on Tuesday by building a network of hands and hoses among neighbors as fast winds casting smoke and flames moved closer.

For McVeigh, wildfires are all too familiar. The California native said his grandmother lost everything during the Camp Fire that hit Northern California's Butte County in 2018. The wildfires in Maui trigger painful memories for him as she did not rebuild in the California town of Paradise in the aftermath, a fate he fears for his community in Lahaina. 

"I fear what they're going to do with that land over there on the west side," he said. "They could turn it into Disneyland if they wanted to."

Maui county officials said late Monday that the Upcountry/Kula fire was 65% contained, with hot spots in hard-to-reach places making it difficult to fully contain the blaze. 

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