HONOLULU (KHON2) – Maui County officials continue recovery efforts in Lahaina after the devastating fires that destroyed a large part of the town.

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UPDATE: 9/03/2023

The Maui Police Department announced that they have lifted the late-night access road restriction into West Maui via Honoapiilani Highway. The burn zone in Lahaina remains off-limits.

The Lahaina fire that ravaged parts of the historic town on Maui is 100% contained by firefighters. Flames broke out on Aug. 8 and had since burned through an estimated 2,170 acres.

Firefighting efforts in the Upcountry area have also seen improvements. The Olinda fire is 90% contained and the Kula fire is 95% contained.

UPDATE: 8/29/2023

Maui Police Department searched 100% of the Lahaina disaster area while the fatality count remains at 115.

UPDATE: 8/21/23

The Lahaina death toll rose to 115 and Maui County released the names of two more deceased residents. They are Douglas Gloege, 59 of Lahaina and Juan Deleon, 45, also of Lahaina.

UPDATE: 8/18/23

The death toll rose to 114 as of Aug. 18 and 85% of the area has been cleared.

UPDATE: 8/17/23

9:15 p.m.

Maui Police Department said 58% of the area has been searched during their search-and-rescue operations.

After first notifying family, police also publicly released the identity of another individual who died in the Lahaina fire.

Out of the four ongoing fires on Maui, only firefighting efforts in Lahaina sees a change with containment at 90%.

Maui County also announced that the Family Assistance Center opened for those seeking information on missing loved ones will be relocated to the Hyatt Regency’s Monarch Ballroom on Wednesday.

The Hawaii Department of Education said it will begin a phased reopening for King Kekaulike High School in Upcountry while some other schools remain closed for campus assessments.

11:06 a.m.

Maui County confirmed the number of fatalities remains at 111. Forty percent of the area has now been searched.

  • Olinda fire: 85% contained. Estimated 1,081 acres. There are no active threats at this time.
  • Kula fire: 80% contained. Estimated 202 acres. There are no active threats at this time.
  • Lahaina fire: 89% contained. Estimated 2,170 acres. There are no active threats at this time.
  • Pulehu / Kihei fire: Remains 100% contained.

UPDATE: 8/16/23

9:17 p.m.

Maui County provided an update on the ongoing firefighting efforts in the following areas:

  • Lahaina fire: 89% contained. Estimated 2,170 acres burned.
  • Olinda fire: 85% contained. Estimated 1,081 acres burned.
  • Kula fire: 80% contained. Estimated 202 acres burned.
  • Pulehu / Kihei fire: Remains 100% contained.

Initially, the blazes in Olinda and Kula were identified together as the Upcountry fire however county fire investigators concluded the two have distinct origins.

6:05 p.m.

Maui County confirmed the death toll increased to 111.

The county also released the names of three more individuals whose lives were claimed by the fire in Lahaina. A total of five identities have been confirmed since Tuesday, Aug. 15.

1:30 p.m.

Gov. Green confirmed fatalities have risen to 110.

In an earlier conference call Hi-EMA said 1,100 to 1,300 remain missing or unaccounted for, cautioning that they don’t have an official list.

Gov. Green reiterated that he has asked the AG to place a moratorium on home sales to predatory investors. He said more information would be coming, possibly on Friday.

Maui Mayor Bissen, clad in Lahainaluna red, announced that he has authorized the waiving of property taxes. Those who already paid will be refunded.

He also mentioned the dust screens that were installed around Lahaina. These screens will help to stop the spread of potentially dangerous materials, according to DOT.

Fire Chief Brad Ventura said the Kula fire perimeter is not growing but if there are hot spots, people should call 911. Water has been restored in the area.

Police Chief John Pelletier said 38% of the Lahaina area has been searched. The National Guard and other local law enforcement partners have secured the impact areas, which allowed the bypass road to be reopened.

When asked why sirens were not used even though they are listed as a purpose to use them on the official site, Herman Andaya, Administrator of Maui Emergency Management Agency, said that they have not been regularly used for fires. Their internal process is to use WEA and EAS, which send alerts via text, voicemail and landlines. He said they are “the most effective means of conveying an emergency message to the public during a wildland fire.”

10 a.m.

The fatalities remain 106, as of Wednesday morning. MPD announced that 35 autopsies had been performed. Seven of those have been identified, five by fingerprints and two by DNA.

Sixteen DNA profiles have been obtained from remains that were recovered. Fifty-two DNA samples have been collected from family members.

The Lahaina fire remains at 85% contained, with an estimated 2,170 acres but no active threats at this time, according to the County.

The Upcountry fire is now 75% contained, with an estimated 678 acres and hot spots continuing to make the establishment of control lines difficult.

UPDATE: 8/15/23

6:20 p.m.

Maui County Mayor confirmed that the death toll has risen to 106, with two victims identified by the county as of Tuesday.

5 p.m.

Gov. Green announced in a news conference that the fatalities had risen to 101.

10 a.m.

The fatality count in the Lahaina fires remains at 99. Four have been identified and 13 DNA profiles have been obtained from the fatalities. Forty-one DNA samples have been collected from family members.

Thirty-two percent of the area has been searched.

The Lahaina fire is 85% contained, with an estimated 2,170 acres affected.

The Upcountry fire is 60% contained, with an estimated 678 acres affected.

The Kihei fire remains 100% contained.

UPDATE: 8/14/23

Gov. Josh Green confirmed the fatalities total is now 99. The Lahaina fire remains 85% contained. The Upcountry fire remains at 60% contained.

Almost 2,000 housing units are now available–402 hotel rooms and 1,400 Air BnBs. These services will have no cost to those impacted individuals. People have already been placed into housing or hotels.

Government is anticipating a need of 36 weeks of direct housing for individuals and families.

All West Maui residents can continue accessing the area through Kahakuloa. The placard system will not be used.

Power has been restored in some areas of West Maui.

Maui Mayor Bissen asked those whose family members are still missing visit the Family Assistance Center in Kahului to provide names and phone numbers for their loved ones. You will also be asked for DNA to help with IDs. Mayor Bissen reminded that none of the information provided in these operations will have an impact on any immigration issues.

The Maui Humane Society have taken in 52 animals, with approximately 367 lost reports. Twelve animals are in the hospital. Horses, pigs, sheep and goats are also being helped. They ask that people not disturb the bodies of dead animals but instead file a report.

UPDATE: 8/13/23

Maui Police Department reported the number of confirmed fatalities have increased to 96.

The following fire updates were also provided:

  • The Upcountry/Kula from Aug. 8 is now 60% contained
  • The Lahaina fire from Aug. 8 is now 85% contained
  • The Pulehu/Kihei fire from Aug. 8 remains 100% contained
  • The Pu’ukoli’i/ Kaanapali fire from Aug. 11 was extinguished Aug. 12

For reference, a fire that is 100% contained is not the same as a fire that is extinguished. To be 100% contained means firefighters have the fire fully surrounded by a perimeter, whereas a fire that is extinguished is over.

Maui County also reported on Aug. 13, that the Upcountry/Kula wildifire has claimed 19 homes.

Three homes were destroyed in Olinda and 16 were leveled in Kula.

Gov. Green issued the fifth Emergency Proclamation Sunday night. The newest proclamation suspends additional laws to facilitate emergency response, recovery and rebuilding.

The proclamation will also allow pharmacists to refill prescriptions with up to a 30-day supply for those directly affected by the wildfire.

The $10 million cap on expenditures from the Major Disaster Fund will also be lifted.

Lastly, it discourages nonessential travel to West Maui to free up accommodations for displaced residents and emergency workers.

UPDATE: 8/12/23

Maui County confirmed the death toll from Maui fires climbed to 93. According to the Maui Police Department, only two people have been actually identified. Their names are being withheld until police notify families.

Green brought the latest update in a press conference on Saturday and stated, “It’s going to continue to rise, we want to brace people for that.”

After observations from the U.S. Fire Administration, they confirmed the Maui fires stand as the deadliest fire in America in the last ten years.

According to the administration, the fire was grass-fed — moving at a very fast pace.

“It outpaced anything the firefighters could have done.”

Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell, U.S. Fire Administration

Maui Mayor Richard Bissen restated that entrance into downtown Lahaina remains restricted. The area is considered hazardous and will reopen when experts deem it safe to do so.

On Saturday evening, Maui County confirmed that the Pulehu/Kīhei fire was declared 100% contained however crews are continuing to extinguish flare-ups in the Lahaina and Upcountry Maui fires.

What else is happening on Maui:

UPDATE: 8/11/23

Maui officials confirmed Friday night the number of confirmed fatalities stood at 80.

A total of 1,418 people have been sheltered at emergency evacuation sites across Maui.

Three fires remain burning in the Lahaina, Pulehu and Upcountry Maui areas.

Maui County provided the following update on firefighting efforts at 3 p.m.:

  • Lahaina fire 85% contained
  • Pulehu/Kihei fire 80% contained
  • Upcountry Maui fire 50% contained

UPDATE: 8/10/23

As of Thursday morning, Maui officials said that the Lahaina fire was mostly contained.

“These past few days the resolve of our families, businesses and visitors have been tested like never before in our lifetime. With lives lost and properties dissemated, we are grieving with each other during this inconsolable time.”

Maui Mayor Richard Bissen 

Maui County officials said more than 270 structures, including an iconic 120-year-old building on Front Street, have been either damaged or destroyed; much of the destruction has been in the historic town of Lahaina.

State officials are urging the public to avoid traveling to the affected areas in an effort to reserve resources for those most in need of them.

FEMA said they are bringing in cadaver dogs to supplement recovery efforts. However, it will take time for a final total of fatalities.

Those wanting to assist by donating to shelters, may do so at War Memorial. It will be open for drop-offs Wednesday and Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Among the items being accepted are: non-perishable food, bottled water, hygiene items and blankets. Officials are asking that donations not be dropped off at fire stations.

GoFundMe has created a list of verified fundraisers for those looking to provide monetary support online. Click here, to donate to victims’ on Maui.

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