Hawaiians Jump Into Ocean Rather Than Burn

The wildfires that are burning through Maui have gotten so bad that dozens of panicked residents on Wednesday were seen jumping into the ocean to escape the flames. At least 12 had to be rescued, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The unorthodox escapes came after evacuation orders were issued for parts of the island, resulting in miles-long traffic jams as people attempt to flee the dangerous areas, says County of Maui spokesperson Mahina Martin. Residents who aren’t under evacuation orders have been asked to shelter in place so they won’t add to the congestion on the roads, Martin adds.

Meanwhile, emergency crews continue to battle “multiple” blazes that are concentrated in two areas of Maui. Among the structures that have been destroyed is a group of historical buildings in the town center that dated back to the 1700s, fire officials say.