Maryland first responders head to Hawaii to assist with Maui wildfires

Members of Montgomery County's Urban Search and Rescue Maryland Task Force One are heading to help after wildfires devastated the Hawaiian island of Maui.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesperson Pete Piringer says MD-TF1 is part of a group of 28 search and rescue teams that will head to the island.

Officials say 55 people were killed in the devastating Maui wildfires, and the death toll will likely continue to rise. Thousands raced to escape the flames.

They also confirmed that emergency management records show no indication that the warning sirens were triggered before a devastating wildfire wiped out the town of Lahaina.

Fueled by a dry summer and strong winds from a passing hurricane, the fire started Tuesday and took Maui by surprise, racing through parched growth covering the island and then feasting on homes and anything else that lay in its path.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.