WAILUKU, Hawaii -- Heartbreaking images are starting to emerge of the devastation left behind by wind-whipped wildfires that have destroyed more than 270 structures and left at least 55 people dead in Maui.
A state of emergency has been declared for the whole island, while all nonessential travel to the popular vacation destination is being discouraged, officials said.
The images show much of the historic town of Lahaina reduced to rumble, including on Front Street, where tourists shopped and dined just days ago. Smoking heaps of rubble lay piled high next to the waterfront in the town, which dates to the 1700s and is the biggest community on the island's west side. Homes and shops were stripped to their frames or less, boats in the harbor were scorched, and smoke hovered over the leafless skeletons of charred trees.
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Take a look at the latest stories and videos about wildfires in Hawaii.
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The Associated Press has contributed to this article.