At least 36 people have died in the Lahaina fire in Hawaii, Maui County wrote in a statement posted to the county website Wednesday evening.
Wildfires, whipped by strong winds from Hurricane Dora passing far to the south, took the island of Maui by surprise, leaving behind burned-out cars on once busy streets and smoking piles of rubble where historic buildings had stood. Flames roared throughout the night, forcing adults and children to dive into the ocean for safety.
Officials said earlier that 271 structures were damaged or destroyed and dozens of people injured.
On Wednesday, crews were continuing to battle blazes in several places on the island. Authorities urged visitors to stay away.