A fast-moving blaze is burning near the airport in West Maui, Hawaii, as firefighters scrambled to save nearby homes.

The fire was nearly 1,000 acres by Tuesday evening, according to the Maui Fire Department.

"About 40 fire personnel, three air units and several tankers and dozers from our county and private partners are responding," the Maui Fire Department said.

It said first responders evacuated Kapalua Airport, and homes in Kahana Ridge and Ala Hoku subdivisions due to the fire. An emergency shelter was opened at a local civic center.

"I want to strongly urge our residents and visitors to avoid the Kapalua area as our first responders fight this fire," Mayor Michael Victorino said. "Please keep the families affected by these fires and our public safety personnel in your thoughts and prayers."

When the fire was originally reported shortly after 1 p.m. local time, it was about 4 acres. It raced across the area due to dry conditions and steady winds, according to the fire department