Tragedy Strikes Maui: Over 96 Lives Lost to Unprecedented Wildfires

Wildfire Update

Harrowing Toll Unveiled

In the wake of a devastating inferno that swept through the serene landscapes of Maui, the world stands witness to an unimaginable tragedy. With heavy hearts, we report a staggering loss of at least 96 lives, a toll that continues to rise. A community once thriving now grapples with an unparalleled catastrophe, as Maui’s wildfires unleash grief and resilience in equal measure.

Lahaina’s Agony: The Unfolding Aftermath

The picturesque town of Lahaina, nestled amidst the beauty of Maui, has become the epicenter of sorrow. Ravaged by the relentless blaze, its streets echo with the pain of loss. Our hearts go out to every individual and family touched by this calamity.

A Grim Record

Tragedy unfolds on an unprecedented scale as the flames that engulfed Lahaina have etched their mark on history. This catastrophe is not just a chapter but an entire volume of grief. This inferno marks a dark milestone, becoming the deadliest wildfire the United States has witnessed in over a century.

A Tragic Echo from the Past

Amidst the turmoil, haunting echoes from history resonate. The death toll surpasses the chilling memory of the 2018 Camp Fire in northern California, which had left 85 lives in its wake while obliterating the once-thriving town of Paradise. Maui’s devastation reverberates across time, surpassing even the tragedy of a 1960 tsunami that claimed 61 lives. This calamity beckons us to remember the harrowing tsunami of 1946, which claimed over 150 lives and in its wake gave birth to a territory-wide emergency alert system, marked by monthly siren tests.

A Discordant Warning

Amidst the unfolding sorrow, questions arise about the readiness of our defenses. Reports reveal a troubling oversight, as the warning sirens remained silent in the crucial moments before the inferno’s onslaught. While alerts found their way to mobile phones, televisions, and radios, the scourge of widespread power and cellular outages casts a shadow on their efficacy.

A Plea for Safety

In the face of unmeasurable loss, Hawaii’s officials extend a plea for safety. Amidst the smoldering aftermath, a chorus of concern rises, urging tourists to postpone their journeys to Maui. Hotels, once symbols of leisure, now stand as havens for evacuees and valiant first responders, demonstrating the spirit of unity in the face of adversity.

An Exodus of Grief and Hope

The tides of tragedy have propelled an exodus of unprecedented proportions. As Lahaina’s scars remain raw, about 46,000 residents and visitors have sought solace in the skies, departing from Kahului Airport in West Maui. These individuals carry with them tales of survival, resilience, and the unwavering spirit of a community bound together by shared grief.

In this somber moment, as the world unites in mourning and support, let us hold onto hope and humanity. Through solidarity, aid, and a commitment to safeguarding lives, we can ensure that Maui’s landscapes, while scarred, will heal.

Lahaina, Pulehu and Upcountry Maui Fires, Update No. 22

  • Firefighting crews are continuing to extinguish flare-ups in the Lahaina and Upcountry Maui fires. In the Upcountry Maui fire, three structures in Olinda and 16 structures in Kula were destroyed. The Pulehu/Kīhei fire was declared 100 percent contained Saturday. Containment indicates what percentage of the fire perimeter has been enclosed by a control line and reflects opportunities for the fire to spread beyond its original border into new areas.
  • A 1-acre fire reported Friday evening in Kaʻanapali above Puʻukoliʻi was extinguished.
  • The number of confirmed fatalities increased to 93, with two of them identified.
  • The American Red Cross emergency evacuation shelter at Maui High School in Kahului is being moved Sunday to the South Maui Gymnasium in Kihei. All activities are canceled at Kihei Regional Park due to the gym being used as an emergency evacuation shelter as of 9 a.m. Sunday.
  • Kaiser Permanente outpatient health and medical clinics will operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Lahaina Gateway Center, Napili Park and Lahaina Comprehensive Health Center at the Lahaina Civic Center.
  • Two donated Wi-Fi trucks are stationed at Napili Park and Honokowai Park to provide Wi-Fi service and the ability to charge cellphones. The service is free to the public.
  • About 180 people staying in emergency evacuation centers obtained reissued driverʻs licenses and state identification cards Saturday morning at the county Division of Motor Vehicles and Licensing. Fees were waived. County employees volunteered to open the division, and Department of Transportation buses took evacuees to the center.
  • Lahaina Gateway Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday for distribution of food, water and other supplies. A potable water tanker is at the location.
  • Napili Plaza is also distributing food, water and other supplies.
  • Donations of non-perishable food, bottled water and hygiene products are being accepted at a War Memorial Complex field off Kanaloa Avenue from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. West Maui residents have requested coolers, slippers, underwear, flashlights and generators.
  • With power being restored in some areas of West Maui, Ohana Fuels/ Minit Stop on Keawe Street in Lahaina and Kahana Gateway Shell are open for gasoline.
  • A county Department of Water Supply precautionary unsafe water advisory remains in effect for Upper Kula and Lahaina areas affected by the wildfires. The advisory that residents should not drink and not boil water is issued out of an abundance of caution pending testing, and water tankers are in place at affected locations. In Lahaina, the advisory does not apply to Kaniau Road and areas north of the road including Villages of Leialiʻi. In Kula, water tankers are available at Crater Road, Copp Road, Kula Fire Station, Rice Park, Kula Community Center and Keokea. Visit for maps of affected Upcountry areas.
Previous articleTeam USA Concludes Group Play with an Immaculate Record
Next articleUrgent: Nipigon OPP in Search of Missing 60-Year-Old Steven SALO