Maui wildfire recovery updates for Aug. 15: loss of life grows to 106; displaced survivors navigate change; Gov. signs order to open Lahaina access during specific hours

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Wildfire updates for Monday Aug. 15 are posted: HERE.

Recovery efforts continue on Maui where wildfires decimated the Historic Lahaina Town in West Maui, leaving a path of destruction spanning nearly 3.5 square miles. The fires were driven by hurricane force winds with 80 mph gusts as system Dora passed well south of the Hawaiian Islands on Tuesday, Aug. 8. The largest fires in Kula and Lahaina are still active burn areas where firefighting efforts continue. The wildfire is described as the nation’s deadliest in a 100 years.

County releases first confirmed identifications of Maui Wildfire Disaster victims
Update: 6:17 p.m., Aug. 15, 2023

The County of Maui and Maui Police Department reports they are saddened to confirm the following identities of victims involved in the Maui Wildfire Disaster. “Our hearts go out to the families, friends and community affected by this devastating event,” according to a county officials.

“We offer our deepest condolences to the families who are beginning to receive notifications about their loved ones,” said Mayor Richard Bissen. “As a community, we offer our prayers of comfort in this most difficult time.”


Maui Police Department and assisting partners have been working tirelessly to ensure that proper protocols are followed while notifying the families of the victims involved. The County of Maui’s priority is to handle this situation with the utmost sensitivity and respect for those who are grieving.

As of today, Aug. 15, 2023, we can confirm the following individuals have been identified and next of kin notified:

  • Robert Dyckman, 74, of Lahaina
  • Buddy Jantoc, 79, of Lahaina

Currently, authorities have identified three individuals who are pending next of kin notification. At this time, there have been 106 human remains recovered, awaiting identification.

“We understand that this is an incredibly difficult time for the families, and we ask that the media and the public respect the privacy of the grieving families.  We will continue to work closely with the families to ensure that they are updated and supported throughout this process. We extend our gratitude to the community for their support and understanding during this challenging time,” county officials said.

Gov. Green signs order providing access to Lahaina via Māʻalaea
Update: 4:13 p.m., Aug. 15, 2023


Governor Josh Green signed an order today, to open the road to West Maui via Māʻalaea for West Maui residents, first responders and employees beginning at 6 p.m. tonight until 6 a.m. tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow, Aug. 16, the road will open to all motorists daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., according to the Governor’s announcement.

They’ll follow that cadence forward with overnight access from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. to be limited to residents, first responders, and employees of West Maui.

Lahaina Road via Māʻalaea Schedule – Starting Tomorrow:

  • Open daily for all motorists 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • LATE-NIGHT ACCESS, from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. will be limited to residents, first responders, and employees of West Maui.

State officials are urging the public to access West Maui only if necessary to live, work, or volunteer.


Governor Green asks that the public exercise caution when returning to West Maui. “We are prioritizing the reopening of this passages to ensure access for first responders, medical professionals, residents of West Maui, and the public.”

With the opening of the Lahaina road, please consider allowing time for those who have the highest need for access, such as those seeking medical assistance, returning residents of West Maui, first responders, and essential workers.

The road will be open until further notice. Motorists should expect delays because some areas still contain debris and the highway will be restricted to one lane at certain areas.

Some areas of Maui are still without power. Please access the area only if necessary and above all, drive with aloha and compassion.

The impact zone remains off-limits due to the active search and recovery efforts. Again, there may be debris on the road, and areas where traffic builds. Please be vigilant as you drive.

For more information, resources and ways to help, visit and

The decision was made under consultation between with Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen; Maui County Fire and Public Safety Department Chief Bradley Ventura; Maui County Police Chief John Pelletier, and Dual Status Commander of Joint Task Force-50 Brigadier General Stephen Logan

Overnight wildfire update
Update: 3:56 p.m., 10:55 a.m., 8 a.m, 12:20 a.m., Aug. 14, 2023


  • Upcountry/Kula fire: 75% contained, 678 acres burned. Hot spots in gulches and other hard to reach places, along with land divisions and fences, make establishment of complete control lines difficult.
  • Lahaina fire: 85% contained. Estimated 2,170 acres. Multiple fire crews are assigned to monitor and address any flareups. There are no active threats at this time.


Fatalities: 106 confirmed souls, according to County officials. Police identified two of them as Robert Dyckman, 74, of Lahaina and Buddy Jantoc, 79, of Lahaina. Three others have been identified, with police saying their names will be released when their families are notified. To provide DNA samples to assist in identification, family members can go to the Family Assistance Center, which is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Kahului Community Center, 275 Uhu St.

About 32% of the area to be investigated has been searched.

Thirteen DNA profiles have been obtained from fatalities, and 41 DNA samples have been obtained from family members of missing people. To provide DNA samples, family members can go to the Family Assistance Center, which is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Kahului Community Center, 275 Uhu St.


The Maui Police Department suspended its placard program for entry into West Maui an hour after it was launched on Monday. Access information is posted below:

  • West Maui residents can access West Maui via Kahakuloa
  • The other access into West Maui via Māʻalaea is restricted for pre-approved first responders, medical, utility, county, supply / transport and volunteer personnel.
  • All outbound traffic from West Maui is being routed through the Honoapiʻilani Hwy via Māʻalaea.
  • The back road (Kahekili Hwy) through Kahakuloa is closed for outbound traffic.


  • FEMA has 416 personnel in the state of Hawaiʻi, including the Administrator.
  • 35 of these individuals are coming from FEMA’s Urban Search and Rescue division.
  • 20 cadaver dogs will work the scene.
  • 270 Hawaiʻi National Guard members are on the ground in Maui helping with fire suppression, search and recovery efforts, and traffic control, according to Gov. Green.
  • 32 generators have arrived at a FEMA staging area.
  • County distribution sites in partnership with the Hawaiʻi Food Service Alliance, have distributed 750,000 pounds, over 500 pallets of food, water and supplies to West Maui. 6,000 gallons of fuel has been distributed to those in need. Governor Green says thereʻs also been 57,000 pounds of ice delivered.


  • Lahaina: FEMA maps show 2,207 structures damaged or destroyed in Lahaina. Estimated cost to rebuild in Lahaina is projected at $5.52 billion.
  • Kula/Olinda: There have been 19 homes destroyed in the that wildfire that started Aug. 8, 2023, including three homes in Olinda and 16 in Kula. Estimated cost to rebuild in Upcountry is $434 million.


Hawaiian Electric Co. reports power was restored to all but 2,000 of the 12,400 customers who lost power in West Maui. Power was restored to the Lahaina Civic Center and nearby areas. HECO has 400 employees from across the state working on power restoration and shipped 26 specialized vehicles and equipment to Maui from Oʻahu.

All six emergency shelters now have internet connection.

Nāpili Plaza is now open 24/7 and has power restored.

Water testing was performed today for Lahaina and Upper Kula areas that were impacted by wildfires. The tests go to Oʻahu and are analyzed by the state Department of Health.

For residents in Lahaina and Upper Kula areas, maps of affected areas in Upcountry and in Lahaina were recently released on the county Department of Water Supply website, The advisory remains in effect for certain areas until further notice and states that residents should not drink and/or boil water. 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.

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)
• Grace Bible Church, Kahului (Internet)
• South Maui Community Park Gymnasium, Kihei (Internet)

Lahaina Gateway Center and Nāpili Plaza from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., for County of Maui-facilitated food, water and other needs and supplies.

Other volunteer run sites are available at the following locations:

  • Princess Nāhiʻenaʻena Elementary
  • Nāpili Park
  • Pōhaku Park, nicknamed “S-Turns”
  • Honokōwai Beach Park
  • Kahana Boat Ramp
  • Hawaiian Homes


Donations of non-perishable food, bottled water and hygiene products shifted from War Memorial Complex to a new site at the Queen Kaʻahumanu Center’s Kane Street entrance. Collection hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The new site is a partnership among the County of Maui, Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke and Mahi Pono. Mahi Pono will provide staff for the facility and work under leadership of Salvation Army and Feed My Sheep to coordinate food and supplies distribution.

Gas: Ohana Fuels/Minit Stop on Keawe Street in Lahaina, Shell on Kapunakea Street in Lahaina, Texaco Gas Station in Honokōwai and Kahana Gateway Shell are open for gasoline.


Maui Health’s Community Response Team will continue to provide first aid, wound care, health and wellness checks and pharmacy services for community members on the west side from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. the remainder of this week at Nāpili Plaza and Lahaina Gateway. All community members receive assistance, regardless of health insurance.

Kaiser Permanente provided 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. For details, visit at

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

Minit Medical: Opening urgent care in the Lahaina Gateway this morning, Aug. 14.  The group will be working directly with Mauiola Pharmacy to get prescriptions out to patients immediately in West Maui.  Staff can also care for all other urgent care needs.


Text, not talk, is best for locations that have connectivity. Maui County updates are repeated on radio stations at 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. Civil Air Patrol via air is also announcing important public messages.


A daily, county shuttle service is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for those at Central Maui shelters to go shopping and visit medical facilities. Riders are required to call Roberts Hawaiʻi for same-day reservations at 808-871-4838. Mobility devices accommodated. Luggage and bags are limited to what can be carried.


Thestate 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, go to

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 is now open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 a.m. at the Kahului Community Center, 275 Uhu Street. Maui Emergency Management Agency and FAC staff will work with families and individuals to gather detailed information and administer DNA swabs.


Emergency housing relief program by Hawaiʻi Housing Finance and Development Corporation will assist wildfire-displaced Maui residents by connecting them with property owners who wish to provide them with rooms, dwelling units, houses and other accommodations immediately. Program application forms went live on HHFDC’s website,, at 8 a.m., Monday, Aug. 14, 2023. A list of available properties should be online by Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023. The program will remain active indefinitely. Full details are posted HERE.

Governor Josh Green said an Operation House Maui program so that people can get into hotel rooms and houses.

  • 402 hotel rooms are available
  • 160 have stepped up for additional program with local homeowners
  • 1400 units will be contributed through AirBNB
  • For a total of 1962 places to house displaced individuals
  • 100 families are already are placed

FEMA has activated the Transitional Sheltering Assistance and Critical Needs Assistance programs for Maui. These programs provide shelter or money to cover urgent needs. To apply, go to or call 800-621-FEMA (3362). For more updates on how to get help. All individuals who were impacted by the Maui fires should apply for FEMA assistance. 

Have the following information available when you apply:

  • A phone number and a reliable alternate in case FEMA needs to call you back;
  • Address of the damaged property;
  • Social Security number;
  • Bank account information or direct deposit information;
  • Insurance information (if you have insurance);
  • Brief description of damages (if known);
  • A mailing address (mail for Lahaina residents is currently being held at the Wailuku Post Office);
  • Pen and paper to write down your registration number.

FEMA officials also advise that impacted individuals begin their insurance claims ASAP.

Government disaster assistance only covers basic needs and usually will not compensate you for your entire loss.  If you have insurance, the government may help pay for basic needs not covered under your insurance policy.

For more information on Federal assistance, including FEMA Disaster Assistance, Unemployment Insurance, and Small Business Administration loans, visit the Resource page set up by US Senator Brian Schatz.


An online, centralized hub called Maui Nui Strong designed to respond to the impacts of the Lahaina and Kula wildfire disaster was launched at The County of Maui site offers information on how to donate, volunteer, offer services and look for support. It is administered through the Office of Economic Development and will be utilized by multiple county departments, nonprofits and grassroots efforts to connect people to resources and services.

DMVL opening Lahaina Satellite Office for reissuing Hawaiʻi driver’s licenses
Update: 6:17 p.m., Aug. 15, 2023

File photo credit: County of Maui/Kayla Bisquera.

The County of Maui Division of Motor Vehicles and Licensing’s Lahaina Satellite Office will be available beginning Wednesday, Aug. 16, to assist West Maui residents whose Hawaiʻi driver’s licenses or Hawaiʻi State Identification cards have been lost or destroyed by wildfires.

The office will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Duplicates will be reissued at no charge with the cardholderʻs principal address that is on record. Changes will not be allowed.

No other transactions or services will be offered until office data and various system infrastructure are restored.

Walk-in requests for duplicate valid driverʻs licenses or duplicate valid Hawaiʻi State Identification cards will be accepted from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Completed applications will be transported to the Division of Motor Vehicles and Licensing Kahului Service Center for processing. Processed temporary driverʻs licenses and identification cards will be transported back to the Lahaina satellite office for pickup the next business day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

West Maui residents also may submit requests by providing their full legal name and date of birth and calling the Division of Motor Vehicles and Licensing Call Center at 808-270-7363 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by sending email to

For more information, call 808-270-73

Hawaiian Telcom providing free community WiFi and phone service at three Maui shelters
Update: 3:13 p.m., Aug. 15, 2023

Photo Courtesy of Hawaiian Telcom Hawaiian Telcom crews replace poles in Lahaina.

Hawaiian Telcom is providing free community WiFi and phone service at three Maui shelters: War Memorial Gym in Wailuku, Kīhei Gym and Hannibal Tavares Community Center in Pukalani.

“We understand connectivity is essential and our teams worked quickly and safely to provide needed phone and WiFi service in the community shelters,” said Su Shin, president and general manager at Hawaiian Telcom. “Other teams are working in parallel, placing poles and new fiber in Lahaina to bring connectivity back to ourcentral office, which will help to enable more cell phone service that people in this area so desperately need.”

Hawaiian Telcom is working with various wireless carriers to allow set up of their equipment on Hawaiian Telcom’s property in Lahaina to support restoration of cell service to the area.

Crews continue to work in Kula, removing fallen trees and placing new poles and fiber.

The company is also waiving equipment charges and pausing billing charges for customers affected by the wildfires.

Previously, Hawaiian Telcom announced:

  • Customers in areas such as Lahaina, Nāpili, and Kā‘anapali can request to have calls to their Hawaiian Telcom landline numbers forwarded free of charge to another phone number. Customers can call 808-643-MAUI (6284) or click here to submit an online request.
  • Maui customers are encouraged to continue to keep non-essential calls to a minimum to ensure that lines can remain open for emergency purposes. Cell phone users are encouraged to text instead of call when possible. 
  • For safety, please avoid downed lines as they could be active electric lines that are dangerous to touch. Moving them could also hamper restoration efforts. To report fallen utility poles or cables or contact the customer support team, please call 808-643-6111 or visit com/supportform.

For the latest information and updates, please visit This site includes information on Maui service disruptions, restoration updates and support as well as information about an employee-spearheaded collection of needed items and a link to donate funds to support Maui.

Molokaʻi Hoe Canoe Race canceled to preserve resources for Maui relief efforts
Update: 2:59 p.m., Aug. 15, 2023

The Oʻahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association has canceled the Molokaʻi Hoe Canoe Race scheduled for Oct. 8. This decision has been made in response to the unfolding federal crisis on Maui, where fires have ravaged the island and left communities grappling with the aftermath.

Given the gravity of the situation and the urgent need to allocate all available Maui County resources to support the Maui community impacted by the fires, the association believes that postponing this year’s Molokaʻi Hoe is not only a responsible course of action, but also a demonstration of unity and solidarity during times of crisis.

Molokaʻi Hoe is an event steeped in tradition, cherished by paddlers and enthusiasts alike. The association believes that redirecting the efforts and resources towards aiding those affected by the fires is a testament to the values that bind the community together.

The Oʻahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association expresses its heartfelt aloha to those impacted by the fires in Maui County, many of whom are part of itʻs own community of paddlers. The association also extends gratitude to the first responders, volunteers, and agencies who are dedicating their efforts to alleviate the crisis and support the affected communities.

Haleakalā National Park’s Summit and Kīpahulu Districts to remain closed through Friday night, Aug. 18, 2023 
Update: 2:55 p.m, Aug. 15, 2023

Kīpahulu District of Haleakalā National Park. PC: NPS

Haleakalā National Park’s Summit and Kīpahulu Districts remain closed to the public through the evening of Friday, Aug. 18, 2023.  The National Park Service advises the public: “Please do not attempt to visit the park during the closure as both districts are closed to entry.”

Camping reservations for Hosmer Grove, backcountry tent camping and cabins, and Kīpahulu campground for Aug. 16, 2023, through Aug. 19, 2023, are canceled. Sunrise reservations for Aug. 16, 2023, through Aug. 18, 2023, are canceled.   

“Thank you for your patience with the continued park closure which is in place to keep visitors safe and reduce demand on Maui’s over-extendedemergency services,” NPS reports.

Any changes in the park’s status will be posted at

Wildfires delay start of semester at UH Maui College
Update: 10:18 a.m., Aug. 15, 2023

PC: University of Hawai‘i Maui College.

The start of the fall semester at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College will be delayed a week because of the devastating impact of the deadly wildfires, according to an announcement by UH Maui Chancellor Lui Hokoana.

The semester was scheduled to begin on Monday, Aug. 21, and will now begin on Monday, Aug. 28, for UH Maui College. The start of the fall semester for UHʻs other nine campuses will remain on Aug. 21, as scheduled.

“We send our deepest aloha to all of you and your ʻohana who have been impacted by the tragic Maui wildfires last week,” said Hokoana in the announcement. “We understand that we are all working to address the impacts on our lives, including the loss of life and home and the emotional and financial stress that ensues.”

Hokoanaʻs message also said resources and special funding are available for UH Maui students from the hard hit areas of West Maui and Kula, and asked students from those areas to notify the campus on how they have been impacted.

Affected students are asked to call the campus at 808-984-3700 or fill out a quick survey. UH Maui College also directed impacted students and employees to additional resources available to all Maui residents.

MEO offering transports for medical needs from South Maui, Pukalani shelters
Update: 10:09 a.m., Aug. 15, 2023

PC: Maui Economic Opportunity

Maui Economic Opportunity buses will offer transports – at no cost to riders – for medical appointments for those impacted by the fires and sheltering at the South Maui Community Park Gymnasium and Mayor Hannibal Tavares Community Center in Pukalani.

The service by reservation-only begins Wednesday and will operate 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. 

For all other transportation needs, riders can use The Maui Bus. 

Robert’s Hawaii is offering shuttles from Central Maui shelters at War Memorial Gym, King’s Cathedral and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To make a reservation with Robert’s, call 808-871-4838.

Following deadly fires, UH Maui College comes together to prepare for semester
Update: 10:05 a.m., Aug. 15, 2023

  • Following deadly fires, UH Maui College comes together to prepare for semester. PC: University of Hawaiʻi Maui College
  • Following deadly fires, UH Maui College comes together to prepare for semester. PC: University of Hawaiʻi Maui College
  • Following deadly fires, UH Maui College comes together to prepare for semester. PC: University of Hawaiʻi Maui College
  • Following deadly fires, UH Maui College comes together to prepare for semester. PC: University of Hawaiʻi Maui College

Less than a week after the deadly wildfires wreaked devastation in Lahaina and Kula, about 200 University of Hawaiʻi Maui College faculty and staff attended the fall 2023 convocation at the Kahului campus on August 14. The gathering also included the Lānaʻi and Molokaʻi education centers via Zoom.

“We know that everybody is hurting and we want to be respectful of that and give you the space for that and we also want to offer as much support as we can to you as we deal with the devastation,” said Chancellor Lui Hokoana.  

UH President David Lassner attended the event in person and thanked everyone for all they had been doing to help. 

“Please take care of yourselves, your families and those around you,” Lassner said. “It’s going to be really easy to get impatient as things get tough, and we will all get through this by caring for one another and remembering why we are here and who we rely on and who makes this place so special.”

One of the speakers was Aukahi Austin Seabury, a licensed clinical psychologist and executive director of I Ola Lāhui, which provides culturally minded evidence-based behavioral health care that is responsive to the needs of medically underserved, Native Hawaiian and rural communities.

Processing shock and trauma

Austin Seabury noted that educators are in the business of caring for others, but that most are in the “shock phase” and are themselves processing the trauma of the unprecedented fires. 

“One of the things that I ask you to do to take care of yourself is to be real intentional about that consumption of media,” Austin Seabury said. “You guys are dealing with the real situation, with the real humans you love, know and care for, and yourselves.”

She also asked them to commit to the things they had already been doing to stay healthy and to take care of themselves before the fires, such as running or swimming. Social media scrolling is not recommended, however, if they must watch something, they should pick something funny to watch or send cat videos.

“When it comes to grief, you have to give yourself and everybody else a lot of grace,” Austin Seabury said. 

Help the helpers

She also suggested they help the “helpers” who are “running themselves ragged right now” and do a “solid” for them, such as picking up their kids.

Hokoana noted that a massive relief effort was already going on in UH Maui College’s kitchens as hundreds of volunteers have been cooking as many as 9,000 meals a day to distribute to shelters and first responders. 

Sign up opportunities to help with the meal preparation were being made available to faculty and staff. Hokoana said he has been urging the chefs and volunteers to pace themselves, as the campus could serve as one of the island’s food hubs through the fall semester.

Disaster Legal Hotline set up by the Hawaiʻi State Bar Association to aid those impacted by wildfires
Update: 8:09 a.m., Aug. 15, 2023

As a community service to aid those affected by the wildfires, the Hawaii State Bar Association is hosting a FREE legal hotline to provide legal assistance to the residents of Maui and the Big Island and any others adversely affected.

Attorneys will be available to answer questions regarding document replacement, insurance claims process, landlord-tenant matters and other issues.


Tuesday, Aug. 15 and Aug. 22
Wednesday, Aug. 16 and Aug. 23
Thursday, Aug. 17 and Aug. 24

Times: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Call: Toll Free 888-533-2773

Volunteer attorneys will be available to assist callers.

Wiwoʻole Maui Benefit Concert, Aug. 19 Livestream
Update: 7:47 a.m., Aug. 15, 2023

Courtesy of Wiwoʻole and Participating Artists

A #MauiStrong Benefit Concert Led by Maui’s Celebrated Recording Artists & Hālau

Wiwoʻole in native Hawaiian means ‘fearless, brave, bold, and courageous.’ In this historic occurrence of unprecedented and catastrophic loss, the unifying and healing power of mele (music) has summoned Maui’s celebrated recording artists and hālau to gather for the Wiwoʻole Maui Benefit Concert (Livestream) on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023 live-streamed from Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

Wiwoʻole #MauiStrong is dedicated to raising essential disaster relief funds urgently needed to support and sustain the victims of the Aug. 8 Maui wildfires that affected communities across the island and devastated the historic town of Lahaina (traditionally known as Maluʻuluʻolele). 

Lahaina, originally a small fishing village, holds significance to Hawaiʻi as it was chosen by King Kamehameha II, to be the revered royal capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom from 1820-1845. Today, the Lahaina wildfire is now the deadliest in US history in more than a century. 

Wiwoʻole Maui Benefit Concert (Livestream), presented by Grand Wailea, The Office of Hawaiian Affairs, KITV4 News, Pacific Media Group, and emceed by, Malika Dudley. will be live-streamed worldwide on Aug. 19, 2023 from 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Hawaiʻi Standard Time on and across participating artists’ social media platforms. 

Proceeds from Wiwoʻole #MauiStrong will be stewarded through Native Hawaiian 501(c)(3) ‘Āina Momona [EIN 82-1366588] at WIWOʻOLE MAUI BENEFIT CONCERT and the Maui Strong Fund at The Hawai’i Community Foundation [EIN 99-0261283]

Participating Artists include GRAMMY® and Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award Winners: 
(listed alphabetically. line-up subject to change without announcement)

Maui Council Vice Chair grateful for ongoing government, community support
Update: 7:24 a.m., Aug. 15, 2023

Bacground image courtesy DLNR Hawaiʻi. Maui Now graphic.

Maui County Council Vice-Chair Yuki Lei Sugimura expressed her gratitude for the outpouring of support Maui has received in response to the ongoing wildfire disaster.  

Sugimura holds the council seat for the Upcountry area, which saw heavy damage from Maui’s ongoing wildfires. While West Maui saw the brunt of damage and all loss of life was tied to Lahaina, Upcountry is seeing its share of damage to property amid ongoing wildfire suppression efforts.

As of Tuesday morning, Aug. 15 the following data is

  • Upcountry/Kula/Olinda fire: 65% contained, 678 acres burned. There have been 19 homes destroyed in the that wildfire that started Aug. 8, 2023, including three homes in Olinda and 16 in Kula. Estimated cost to rebuild in Upcountry is $434 million.
  • Lahaina fire: 85% contained. Estimated 2,170 acres. There have been at least 101 deaths (confirmed as of 4 p.m. Aug. 15). FEMA maps show 2,207 structures damaged or destroyed in Lahaina. Estimated cost to rebuild in Lahaina is projected at $5.52 billion.
  • Kula wildfire (August 11, 2023). DLNR Hawaiʻi.
  • Kula wildfire (August 11, 2023). DLNR Hawaiʻi.
  • Kula wildfire (August 11, 2023). DLNR Hawaiʻi.
  • Kula wildfire (August 11, 2023). DLNR Hawaiʻi.
  • Kula wildfire (August 11, 2023). DLNR Hawaiʻi.

She highlighted the support that Maui County has received from partners at the federal, state, and local level.

“I’d like to thank President Biden, Senators Schatz and Hirono, Representative Tokuda, Governor Green, Lieutenant Governor Luke, Mayor Bissen, Brigadier General Logan and numerous other officials for working collaboratively to address our island’s many needs during this crisis,” said Sugimura. “I’d also like to send a special thank you to the countless private citizens and volunteers who have gone above and beyond to provide food, supplies and aid to those that have been impacted, especially as many of them were dealing with unimaginable losses of their own.”

Sugimura, who also chairs the Council’s Budget, Finance, and Economic Development Committee, shared that the council is standing by to assist with any funding needs that arise from the wildfires.

“As the chair of the BFED committee, I stand ready to help expedite budget requests from Mayor Bissen and his team to help with our response to the Lahaina, Pūlehu and Upcountry wildfires and as we rebuild our community for our people,” she said.

Hawaiʻi to explore moratorium on sales of damaged or destroyed properties in Maui wildfires
Update: 2:35 a.m., Aug. 15, 2023

Gov. Josh Green addresses wildfire response during a press briefing on Monday afternoon. PC: Wendy Osher / Maui Now (8.14.23). View the full press conference HERE.

Governor Josh Green, M.D., Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen and other officials addressed serious community concerns relating to the disaster recovery process and provided updates on round-the-clock efforts to bring stability back to Maui residents. The discussion was part of an afternoon press conference held Monday in Wailuku, Maui.

A top concern was that residents are being approached about selling fire-damaged home sites, by people posing as real estate agents who may have ill intent. It is an issue the Governor said he has already has been working to combat.

“I’ve reached out to the Attorney General to explore options to do a moratorium on any sales of properties that have been damaged or destroyed,” said Governor Green during the press event. “Moreover, I would caution people that it’s going to be a very long time, before any growth, or housing can be built. And so, you would be pretty poorly informed if you try to steal land from our people and then build here.”

More than 2,200 structures were damaged or destroyed in the Lahaina wildfire.PC: DLNR Hawaiʻi (8.15.23)

Federal officials have called the Lahaina fire America’s deadliest in more than a century, and Governor Green spoke of his desire to honor the memory of those lost and the significance of the first Capitol of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

“In discussions last night, amongst colleagues of mine, people I trust, we’re hopeful to create a memorial for the people of the state of Hawai‘i in this site. We’ll also invest state resources to preserve and protect this land for our people; not for any development, for our people locally,” Governor Green said.

“I’ll also tell you that this is going to impact how we view, because of tragedy, how we view all of the development in our state. And much of what we do, is challenged by other laws, federal and otherwise, that don’t let us restrict who can buy in our state. But we can do it deliberately during a crisis, and that’s what we’re doing. So for my part I will try to allow no one from outside our state to buy any land until we get through this crisis and decide what Lahaina should be in the future,” he said.

Dept. of Hawaiian Homelands organizes supply drop for Villages of Leialiʻi homestead
Update: 1:59 a.m., Aug. 15, 2023

  • DHHL organizes supply drop for homesteaders at Villages of Leialiʻi. PC: DHHL
  • DHHL organizes supply drop for homesteaders at Villages of Leialiʻi. PC: DHHL
  • DHHL organizes supply drop for homesteaders at Villages of Leialiʻi. PC: DHHL
  • DHHL organizes supply drop for homesteaders at Villages of Leialiʻi. PC: DHHL
  • DHHL organizes supply drop for homesteaders at Villages of Leialiʻi. PC: DHHL
  • DHHL organizes supply drop for homesteaders at Villages of Leialiʻi. PC: DHHL
  • DHHL organizes supply drop for homesteaders at Villages of Leialiʻi. PC: DHHL
  • DHHL organizes supply drop for homesteaders at Villages of Leialiʻi. PC: DHHL

Wildfire updates for Monday Aug. 15 are posted: HERE.

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands organized the delivery of essential goods to the homesteaders of Villages of Leialiʻi, one of the communities impacted by the devastating wildfires on the island of Maui.

The devastating Lahaina wildfire consumed two homes at the Villages of Leialiʻi homestead, which consists of 104 residential lots.  They were among the 2,207 structures damaged or destroyed in the Lahaina wildfire.

Portable toilets, generators, extension cords and a roll-off were delivered Saturday.

“After the fire, DHHL immediately began assessing the extent of the damage on Hawaiian Home Lands,” said Hawaiian Homes Commission Chair Kali Watson in a news release update. “This was crucial to understand the immediate needs of beneficiaries and to plan for long-term recovery.”

In partnership with local and community leaders, Hawaiian Homes Maui Commissioner Randy Awo lead a team of DHHL staff through the Villages of Leialiʻi Thursday. While on the ground the team went door-to-door to check on beneficiaries, survey their needs, distribute supplies, and assess damage to homes.

  • DHHL organizes supply drop for homesteaders at Villages of Leialiʻi. PC: DHHL
  • DHHL organizes supply drop for homesteaders at Villages of Leialiʻi. PC: DHHL
  • DHHL organizes supply drop for homesteaders at Villages of Leialiʻi. PC: DHHL
  • DHHL organizes supply drop for homesteaders at Villages of Leialiʻi. PC: DHHL
  • DHHL organizes supply drop for homesteaders at Villages of Leialiʻi. PC: DHHL
  • DHHL organizes supply drop for homesteaders at Villages of Leialiʻi. PC: DHHL

“We are here to stand with our people in this time of devastation,” said Commissioner Awo. “We are here to acknowledge the challenges that are in front of us and our commitment to be ‘onipaʻa, as we move forward in resilience and resurrection.”

DHHL is committed to meeting the needs of our community and will work alongside federal, state and county leaders to ensure beneficiaries are safe, sheltered and have access to necessities. The Department has allocated resources and funds to support recovery efforts. This requires both immediate crisis management funding and longer-term planning to ensure sustainable recovery.

“In the aftermath of the wildfires, DHHL is involved in rebuilding homes and infrastructure,” Chair Watson said. “This entails not just restoring what was lost, but also considering how to build in a way that would be more resilient to future fires and storms.”

  • DHHL organizes supply drop for homesteaders at Villages of Leialiʻi. PC: DHHL
  • DHHL organizes supply drop for homesteaders at Villages of Leialiʻi. PC: DHHL
  • DHHL organizes supply drop for homesteaders at Villages of Leialiʻi. PC: DHHL
  • DHHL organizes supply drop for homesteaders at Villages of Leialiʻi. PC: DHHL
  • DHHL organizes supply drop for homesteaders at Villages of Leialiʻi. PC: DHHL

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