KULA, Hawaii – As rescue crews on Maui continue searching for people and trying to contain the Upcountry fire in the high elevations of Kula, survivors are mourning not only those lost in the blaze but property as well.
The fires on the island of Maui devastated so many historic areas. Even neighborhoods in the center of the island, more than 3,000 feet in elevation, were hit hard. In this scorched neighborhood, there are homes that have been incinerated.
No one lost their lives there, but more than 20 homes were destroyed, and hundreds more structures are in shambles.
Hotspots continue to flare up in a gully in the distance as fire workers try to put them out.
One woman had trouble explaining how she felt when she returned to see what was left of her decimated home.
"I love this place so much," said Sharil Clipper while choking back tears. "It was my granddaughters' sanctuary. Now, it's empty."
Clipper took a moment and continued.
"You know, I can't even breathe," she added. "Sad."
In Lahaina, down the mountain on the west coast of Maui, authorities are not letting anyone in or out of the city, including residents. It is blocked off all over every road, and has a perimeter being controlled by the National Guard, FEMA or even state patrol and other police here.
Being able to get a glimpse of the gravity of this situation may be very difficult. Block after block is charred, neighborhoods are destroyed, vehicles are burned to the ground, and people's belongings and possessions are gone.
Authorities are still searching this area for human remains, saying there cannot be a push to move forward at this point until the dead are identified.