As night fell, Maui Mayor Mike Victorino said the firefighters would not control him overnight.
"We can not fight the fire tonight, we will not send firefighters into danger," Victorino said Thursday.
Maui County has activated its emergency operations center to deal with the fire on Thursday morning. In the afternoon, the flames were uncontrollable and emergency officials sent out a mobile alert to alert nearby residents so that they evacuate.
Oprah has a home in the county and tweeted a local resident to confirm that she gave fire officials access to her private road. "A great mahalo to Oprah for allowing Maui County to access your private road to help you fight the Maui fire," tweeted Hawaii Governor David Ige.
Flights at Kahului airport were briefly diverted, but operations returned to normal. The fire affected access to the airport, which operated with the help of emergency generators. The Hawaii Tourism Authority has asked visitors heading to or from the airport to contact their airlines to find out the status of their flight due to food issues.