Our live coverage of the wildfires in Maui has moved.
Winds will decrease across Hawaii on Thursday as the weather pattern that created the hurricane-force winds eases.
Hurricane Dora continues to move farther away from the islands. Due to the increasing distance, winds had already decreased slightly on Wednesday with gusts of 50 mph.
The high pressure to the northwest of the state will continue to produce moderate to locally breezy trade winds across the region Wednesday night, and a weakening in this pattern will allow the winds to decrease to more average speeds on Thursday.
The forecast for west Maui Wednesday evening calls for northeast winds of 25 to 30 mph, decreasing to 15 to 30 mph after midnight. Winds are forecast to be 15 to 25 mph on Thursday and 10 to 20 mph Thursday night.
“Expect a typical dry summer trade wind weather pattern from Thursday onward,” the National Weather Service said in its forecast discussion.
The red flag warning and wind advisory are no longer in effect.
“On average, we see the critical fire weather conditions about four days per year,” NWS Honolulu Meteorologist John Bravender said. “The last fire weather watch we issued was for December 9, 2022 and the last red flag warning was November 21, 2022.”
More context: Ian Morrison, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Honolulu, told CNN Wednesday "very little rain" is expected Thursday for Maui and the Big Island.
Morrison cautioned that although the latest wind conditions will assist the firefighters, “dropping winds doesn’t mean the fires will go away.”
The death toll in Maui County is now 36, according to a press release from the county.
“As the firefighting efforts continue, 36 total fatalities have been discovered today amid the active Lahaina fire. No other details are available at this time,” the release said.
As fires devastate large swaths of Maui, Hawaii Lt. Governor Sylvia Luke said Wednesday that "the road to recovery will be long.”
The blazes have destroyed hundreds of structures in Maui, including homes and businesses, according to officials. Thousands of residents have been displaced on the island, officials said.
“These were small businesses that invested in Maui. These were local residents. We need to figure out a way to help a lot of people in the next several years,” Luke said.
“It’s going to take years,” she added.
More than 11,000 people were flown out of Maui on Wednesday, Hawaii Department of Transportation Director Ed Sniffen said at a news conference.
As fires rage across Maui on Wednesday, thousands of travelers scrambled to evacuate and officials urged nonresidents to leave the island as quickly as possible.
Still, some airplanes leaving Maui Wednesday had empty seats as major highway closures made getting to the airport difficult for some, Sniffen said, noting the roads are now mostly reopened.
In an effort to help travelers leave, Maui County organized buses to take more than 400 people to the airport Wednesday, he said. Airlines have also assisted by flying in bigger planes, lowering rates and adding extra routes.
More than 600 people will stay overnight at Kahului Airport as they await early morning flights, according to Sniffen.
About 1,500 people are expected to fly out of the airport tomorrow, he noted.
Military helicopters dropped about 150,000 gallons of water in Maui County on Wednesday as they aided in fire suppression efforts, Hawaii Department of Defense Adjutant General Kenneth S. Hara said in a news conference Wednesday night.
"The primary focus is to save lives, and then to prevent human suffering, and then to mitigate great property loss," Hara said.
State department crews are assisting in efforts to restore communications across the island -- which has seen widespread cellular outages -- and distribute water, he said.
Hara said he anticipates federal assistance will be needed for recovery efforts including debris clearance and temporary housing.
Several military helicopters have been deployed to Hawaii's Big Island and Maui to provide firefighting and search and rescue support, the US military’s Indo-Pacific unified combatant command said in a statement Wednesday.
"The US Army 25th Combat Aviation Brigade deployed two UH-60 Blackhawks and one CH-47 Chinook to Hawaii Island to conduct firefighting operations," said the command, which is headquartered in Hawaii.
"Additionally, US Navy Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37 sent MH-60R Seahawk helicopters to assist the US Coast Guard in search and rescue operations."
The command's forces are also ready to assist if requested by the state of Hawaii or the Hawaii National Guard, it said.
As wildfires ripped through Maui Tuesday, the US Coast Guard was deployed to Lahaina to rescue 14 people who fled into the water to escape the advancing fire and smoke, the agency said in a Wednesday update.
The Coast Guard had previously said 12 people were rescued.
The survivors, who were picked up on a 45-foot boat, are in stable condition, the agency said in a news release.
The rescue boat and Coast Guard crew remained on the scene near Lahaina Wednesday, it said.
"On behalf of the US Coast Guard, I wish to convey my sincere condolences to the communities who have been tragically affected by the fires in Maui,” said Capt. Aja L. Kirksey, Sector Commander of Coast Guard Sector Honolulu.
"Our collaboration with partner agencies and neighboring jurisdictions remains steadfast, as we unite our resources, knowledge, and equipment to ensure responder and public safety and amplify the impact of our response efforts.”
A number of significant historical sites in Maui's tourist hub of Lahaina have been destroyed by fires, according to a CNN analysis of Maxar Technologies satellite imagery.
Several buildings along Lahaina's historic Front Street have been impacted, according to the satellite imagery, which was taken at 11:03 a.m. local time Wednesday.
Among the losses is a towering banyan tree -- one of the largest in the US -- which was imported to the island from India in 1873, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority. There appears to be no vegetation on the tree when compared to earlier images.
The Lahaina Heritage Museum, housed in a courthouse just west of the tree, has been burned so badly that the roof has collapsed and only its walls remain, the images show.
The Baldwin Home Museum -- an 1830s-era house believed to be the oldest home on the island -- has been reduced to ash. Lahaina Restoration Foundation executive director Theo Morrison confirmed to CNN earlier Wednesday that the house had been burnt.
Further north, the Wo Hing Temple Museum has also been destroyed. The two-story structure was built in 1912 to be a temple and social hall for the island's Chinese immigrant community.