HONOLULU (KHON2) — One month into the deadly fire that ripped through parts of the historic town of Lahaina, Gov. Josh Green brought an update on the wildfire recovery and response efforts happening on Maui.
Lives claimed, the unaccounted for:
In the latest information from the governor, Green confirmed that the number of people still unaccounted for following the fires has dropped to 66 individuals. On Friday, Sept. 1, the number was 385.
The Maui Police Department and FBI released its third updated credible list, click here for the full story.
Of the 115 confirmed lives claimed in the Lahaina fire, the governor said 50 of those individuals remain unidentified.
Special revenue source, return of visitors:
The governor announced that $100 million from a special revenue source called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families will be available to support those impacted by the Maui fires.
From the TANF, $25 million will be available immediately to help businesses all across Maui until the economy recovers. Funds will be distributed to businesses by the Maui Economic Opportunity team in the form of $10,000 and $20,000 bridge grants.
West Maui will re-open to visitors on Sunday, Oct. 8 in an effort to support Maui’s economic recovery. The rest of the island and the state is open for travel.
Road to healing, returning home:
While the removal of hazardous materials from the affected areas could take months, some residents may have the opportunity to visit their homes in the coming weeks.
The governor said there will be scheduled supervised visits for displaced people to return and view their property under safe conditions.
“The ash we are told is quite toxic, so we need to be careful,” said Green.
Cracking down on unsolicited land offers:
After reports of attorneys approaching survivors with unsolicited requests to acquire property in affected areas of Maui, the state will be imposing enhanced criminal penalties on the issue.
“I want to emphasize again — the land in Lahaina is reserved for its people as they return and rebuild,” said Green.
State Attorney General Anne Lopez said several investigations are underway into these reports of unsolicited land offers.
“I will tell you that we have received every day we receive a number of complaints. I get them from regular people, I get them from other attorneys who are licensed in Hawaii,” said Lopez.