(KRON) — Aerial photographs shot by a Getty Images photographer along the west coast of Maui Thursday revealed devastating destruction left in the wake of a hurricane wind-whipped wildfire.
Between a sparkling blue ocean and vibrant green mountains, a line of dark gray can be seen where the historic town of Lahaina burned to the ground.
Lahaina was one of Maui’s largest communities, dating back to the 1700s. Flames reduced Front Street to rubble and ash. Hundreds of buildings were destroyed. Boats in the harbor were torched by wind-blown embers. The official death toll rose to 53 on Thursday.
Maui’s firefighting crews battled three fires simultaneously on the island Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning. The most destructive blaze was in Lahaina, a second fire burned near Kihei, and a third scorched inland communities known as Upcountry, according to Maui County officials.
The photographs below show aftermath images of Lahaina.
The causes of the wildfires have not yet been determined. The National Weather Service had issued high wind warnings for the Hawaiian Islands when the blazes ignited.