Maui wildfire disaster updates for Aug. 19: Death toll at 1…


Maui Wildfire Disaster updates for Aug. 19: HERE.

Recovery efforts continue on Maui where wildfires decimated the Historic Lahaina Town in West Maui, leaving a path of destruction spanning an estimated 3.5 square miles. Multiple fires on the island were sparked on Aug. 8, and were fueled by strong winds and dry air as a hurricane passed well south of the islands.  

Today, three of those fires remain active with crews monitoring for flare ups and hotspots. The death toll from the Lahaina fire has risen to 114, with the identity of six victims publicly released by police since the investigation began. An estimated 58% of the burn area has been searched. The wildfire is described as the nation’s deadliest in 100 years.

FEMA has also set up a disaster recovery center in Kahului. The Family Assistance Center for those looking for displaced loved ones has moved from Kahului to Kāʻanapali. School officials announced a return date for students at King Kekaulike High School of Aug. 23.

FIRE UPDATE as of 9:15 p.m. Friday

  • Lahaina fire: 90% contained, 2,168 acres burned. MFD and US Army Reserve were onsite.
  • Olinda fire: 85% contained, 1,081 acres burned. State DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife is monitoring. A drone with infrared capabilities was deployed overnight to look for hot spots at the Upcountry fires.
  • Kula fire: 85% contained, 202 acres burned. Three Maui Fire Department and two DOFAW crews were onsite at last report.
  • Pulehu / Kihei fire (initially reported 8/8): Remains 100% contained. There are no active threats at this time.

County fire investigators have concluded that the Kula and Olinda fires have distinct origins. Data for these fires is now reported separately.



The number of confirmed fatalities rose to 114 on Friday. Maui police have identified six individuals publicly following notification of family. Victims of the Maui Wildfire Disaster include: Donna Gomes, 71, of Lahaina; Melva Benjamin, 71, of Lahaina; Virginia Dofa, 90, of Lahaina; Alfredo Galinato, 79, of Lahaina; Robert Dyckman, 74, of Lahaina; and Buddy Jantoc, 79, of Lahaina.

Maui police say 78% of the area has been searched as of Friday evening.


The advisory was expanded Friday to include the area from Kaniau Road to Leiali Parkway.


The advisory remains in effect for certain areas of Lahaina (see map) and Upper Kula (see maps) until further notice and states that residents should not drink and/or boil water. Water sampling will continue today and Sunday. Testing will continue for some time to ensure drinking water is safe.

Bottled water should be used for all drinking, brushing teeth, ice making and food preparation until further notice. Residents are unable to treat the water in any way to make it safe. Drinking water sites are set up in many areas of Lahaina and Kula.

More information on this topic is available HERE.


Hawaiian Electric is continuing to rebuild sections of the electric grid to safely restore service in parts of West Maui and Upcountry, focusing on critical circuits that serve businesses which provide essential services for local communities.


More than 80% of the customers who lost electricity have their power back on. More than 90% of all customers on Maui have electricity.

Approximately 1,800 customers in Olowalu, Lahaina and some surrounding areas remain without power.

Hawaiian Electric has begun contacting those whose electricity may be restored beyond this week. Crews continue working to restore pocket outages in Upcountry.


The County of Maui Division of Motor Vehicles and Licensing’s Lahaina Satellite Office will be closed for the holiday weekend starting today. It will reopen Monday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lahaina Gateway Center, 325 Keawe St., to assist West Maui residents whose Hawaiʻi driver’s licenses or Hawaiʻi State Identification cards have been lost or destroyed by wildfires. For more information, call 808-270-7363.

FAMILY ASSISTANCE CENTER (Due to privacy, no media allowed on premises)

The Family Assistance Center, for those seeking information on loved ones and for those who are unaccounted for, moved from Kahului Community Center to the Hyatt Regency’s Monarch Ballroom, 200 Nohea Kai Drive in Kāʻanapali. Starting today, it is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Expanded resources will be offered. Staff will work with families and individuals to gather information and administer DNA swabs. For FAC details, call 1-800-RED-CROSS. If you live on a neighbor island or the mainland, are the immediate family member (parent, sibling, or child) of a person missing as the result of the Maui wildfires, and you wish to provide a DNA sample to assist, call the Federal Bureau of Investigation – Honolulu Division at 808-566-4300.


Lahaina Gateway Center, open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, will close Sunday, Aug. 20 for a staff break. Nāpili Plaza is open around the clock for food, water and other needs.


A West Maui community meeting tentatively slated Saturday has been postponed due to health and safety concerns over air quality.


  • King Kekaulike: Staff returns on Monday, Aug. 21; Students return on Wednesday, Aug. 23.
  • Princess Nahi‘ena‘ena Elementary, Lahaina Intermediate and Lahainaluna High remain closed to students and staff. Phased reopening dates for these schools will be determined once the campuses are confirmed as safe by county, state and federal authorities. 
  • For Kamehameha III Elementary, which was destroyed in the fire, the Department is still exploring options for students, including welcoming students to Princess Nāhiʻenaʻena Elementary as well as the potential for a temporary satellite site in West Maui.

Approximately 400 displaced West Maui students have enrolled in other public schools. More than 200 students have signed up for distance learning. More information on this update HERE.


The state Department of Health is urging caution for residents and business owners who are allowed to return to their properties in the Lahaina area. Dangers include ash that may contain toxic and cancer-causing chemicals including asbestos, arsenic and lead and debris including broken glass, exposed electrical wires, nails, wood, plastics and other objects. Unstable buildings and structures may contain hazardous materials and could collapse and cause injury. For more information about recommendations for personal protective equipment including masks and associated hazards can be found HERE.


Late-night access on the road to Lahaina is limited to West Maui residents, first responders and West Maui employees from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. All motorists may enter from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The Maui Police Department will cite and tow vehicles parked at the Lahaina Bypass, where there are no-parking signs.


According to the National Weather Service forecast office in Honolulu, rain associated with the remnants of post-tropical cyclone Fernanda is forecast to approach the state starting late Sunday and spread westward Monday and Tuesday.

The highest rainfall amounts are forecast to occur Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning along windward and mountain slopes of Maui.


Donations of non-perishable food, bottled water and hygiene products are being accepted from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. near a vacant unit in Queen Ka’ahumanu Center at the Kane Street entrance. No clothes at this time, please. The new site is a partnership among the county, the state via Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke and Mahi Pono. Mahi Pono is staffing the facility, working under the leadership of Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters to coordinate food and supplies distribution.


An online, centralized hub to respond to the impacts of the Maui Wildfire Disaster was launched at The County of Maui Maui Nui Strong site offers information on how to donate, volunteer, offer services and look for support. It is administered through the county Office of Economic Development and will be utilized to connect people to resources and services.


Maui Economic Opportunity is offering free rides for medical appointments for people impacted by the fires who are sheltering at the South Maui Community Park Gymnasium and Mayor Hannibal Tavares Community Center in Pukalani. The service by reservation operates daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Reservations can be made from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays at 808-877-7651.

Daily county shuttle service is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for Central Maui shelters to go to Central Maui shopping and medical locations. Riders are required to call Roberts Hawaiʻi for same-day reservations at 808-871-4838. Mobility devices accommodated. Luggage and bags will be limited to what can be carried. For all other transportation needs, riders may use The Maui Bus.

EMERGENCY SHELTERS (Due to privacy, no media allowed inside)

  • Hannibal Tavares Community Center, Pukalani (Internet)
  • War Memorial Gymnasium, Wailuku (Internet)
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Kahului (Internet)
  • Kings Cathedral Church, Kahului (Internet)
  • South Maui Community Park Gymnasium, Kīhei (Internet)
  • Grace Bible Church, Kahului (Internet)

The number of survivors at the six shelters decreased significantly during recent days as the American Red Cross is working to rapidly place survivors in hotel rooms. If a shelter closes in coming days, it’s because all survivors have moved into one of the hotels providing wraparound services.

Open shelters are the best place for people to inquire about hotel emergency lodging. To find a shelter near you call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or download the free Red Cross Emergency app. Text “GETEMERGENCY” to 90999.


Maui Health is offering services today from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Lahaina Gateway and Nāpili Plaza today and Sunday. Clinicians and physicians will provide first-aid, wound care, health and wellness checks and pharmacy services, including baby formula for all community members in need, regardless of health insurance. For details, visit

The Maui Health Community Medical Clinic will then move to Hyatt Regency Maui Hotel from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, 8/12, through Saturday, 8/26.

Kaiser Permanente is providing medical services to KP members and non-members at three locations in Lahaina. Pharmacy courier services will be available at all three sites. These locations are open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week.

  • Kaiser Permanente’s Mobile Health Vehicle at Lahaina Gateway: Providing first aid and pediatric services. OB/GYN services will be offered every Friday.
  • Kaiser Permanente First Aid Station at the Hyatt Regency Lahaina, Lahaina Ballroom
  • Kaiser Permanente First Aid Station at Nāpili Market: Providing first aid and pediatric services.

NOTE: Kaiser Permanente’s 24/7 First Aid Station located at the War Memorial Gym will permanently close at 8 a.m., Sunday, Aug. 20, 2023. 

For prescription refills, members can visit or call 808-643-7979. Pharmacy locations at Maui Lani or Wailuku medical offices. 

  1. Maui Lani Office pharmacy: M-F, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sat. and Sun., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
  2. Wailuku Office pharmacy: M-F, 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1-5 p.m. (Closed from 12-1 p.m.) 
  3. Kīhei Medical Pharmacy: M-F, 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1-5 p.m. (Closed from 12-1 p.m.)   

Minit Medical has been open since Aug. 14 at the Lahaina Gateway from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week, providing medical services to all community members in need regardless of health insurance. Contact 808-667-6161 for an appointment or visit 


Text, not talk, is best for locations that have connectivity. Maui County updates will now be aired daily at noon on local radio stations. Sign up for press releases on The final Civil Air Patrol Hawaiʻi Wing broadcast via loudspeaker was 8/16.


Maui residents affected by the recent wildfires can apply for federal disaster assistance at a joint Disaster Recovery Center that operates daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the University of Hawaii Maui College, 310 W. Kaahumanu Ave., Kahului. Speak to FEMA specialists, get help registering for disaster assistance, connect with volunteer organizations and have access to federal and state resources.

Maui United Way offering $1,000 to adults suffering loss, damage living in fire impact zones; Update: 6:54 a.m.

Downed power lines and fire damage along Honoapiʻilani Highway. Aug. 8, 2023 (Photo Credit: Cammy Clark/Maui Now)

Maui United Way has activated its Maui Fire Disaster Relief Fund to provide financial assistance to individuals directly impacted by the disaster.

The organization is offering $1,000 in emergency financial assistance per adult in several ways, including pre-paid Visa cards, PayPal, Venmo or direct deposit to personal bank accounts.

“We believe direct financial payments are important because they let families determine their own needs,” saind Nicholas Winfrey, president of the Maui United Way. “Having the ability to choose those needs and preferences is empowering. Maui is one of the most culturally diverse places in the country.  Comfort food means different things to different people.”

Each adult who meets the criteria needs to complete a simple form at People who need help completing the financial assistance form, including translation services, should dial 211.

“While this fund only scratches the surface for impacted families, we hope these funds will help Maui’s fire survivors to purchase some of their most urgently needed items,” Winfrey said.

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