Maui wildfire disaster updates for Aug. 19: Death toll remains at 114; 85% of burned area searched

Listen to this Article
5 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

Updated at 8:49 p.m.

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 remains at 114, with the identity of six victims publicly released by police since the investigation began. An estimated 85% of the burn area has been searched. The wildfire is described as the nation’s deadliest in 100 years.

FEMA has 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.

FIRE UPDATE as of 8:51 p.m. Saturday

  • Lahaina fire: 89% contained, 2,170 acres burned. It had been 90% contained on Friday.
  • Olinda fire: 85% contained, 1,081 acres burned. State DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife is monitoring. The fire includes both forest reserve and adjacent private lands.  The state Division of Forestry and Wildlife is assisting joint fire-fighting efforts on this fire with the Maui Fire Department. There are 27 firefighters, 6 fire engines and other equipment and tenders engaged in the effort. The perimeter is holding, and suppression is focusing on extinguishing scattered hotspots, mainly in the gulches of the area. 
  • Kula fire: 80% contained, 202 acres burned. It had been 85% contained on Friday.
  • Pulehu / Kihei fire (initially reported 8/8): Remains 100% contained. There are no active threats at this time.



There was no change on Saturday in the death toll, which remains at 114. The names of the deceased that have been made public by the Maui Police Department remains at six: 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.

Another four victims have been identified but their families have not been located to be informed, the county said.

For information, visit: . 

Maui police say 85% of the area has been searched as of Saturday evening.



The advisory was expanded Friday to include the area from Kaniau Road to Leialiʻi 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. Installation of a second mobile substation, which will serve the Launiupoko to Olowalu area, is continuing. This mobile substation takes time to install to ensure safe and reliable connection to the island’s electric system.

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

Hawaiian Electric will be suspending bills for approximately 18,000 customers in wildfire affected areas, including those impacted in Upcountry. Customers should have received direct notifications of bill suspensions. If you have any questions regarding your account, you can contact HECO at 808-871-9777, according to Councilmember Yuki Lei Sugimura.


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.


Remnant moisture from post-tropical cyclone Fernanda is forecasted to approach Hawaiʻi starting late Sunday, with the highest rainfall totals for windward and mountain slopes of Maui County expected to occur between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

With the possibility of heavy rains and flooding on the horizon, the U.S. Coast Guard and Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation have worked to deploy storm drain inlet protection devices and absorbent booms in several areas impacted by wildfires, including eight storm drain outfalls entering the ocean within the impacted areas of Lahaina town.


The county-run resource distribution sites at Lahaina Gateway Center and Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center will be closed on Sunday. Donations at the Queen Kaʻahumanu Center will also not be accepted when it is closed. Both sites and their operations will reopen on Monday.

Lahaina Gateway will operate from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the Queen Kaʻahumanu Center from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Upon reopening, the Queen Kaʻahumanu Center will accept donations of non-perishable food, bottled water and hygiene products at the Kane Street entrance. No clothes at this time, please.

The Nāpili Plaza resource distribution site remains open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for food, water, and other needs.


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.


The ferry from Maui island to Lana‘i continues to offer service from Ma‘alaea Harbor to Mānele Bay three days a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, departing Ma‘alaea at 1 p.m. and Mānele at 3 p.m.

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

There are a combined 43 residents in the shelter locations listed below.

  • 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)

The shelter at the Mayor Hannibal Tavares Community Center in Pukalani is scheduled to close on Sunday because no residents are now utilizing it.

Approximately 1,226 individuals are reported to be sheltered at six hotel locations around Maui.

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.

On Sunday, Aug. 20, Kaiser Permanente will permanently closed the War Memorial Gym at 8 a.m. and the Nāpili Plaza first aid station at 4 p.m. 

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 Relief Storage Facility opens on Oʻahu; Update at 1:15 p.m.

The Maui Relief Storage Facility opened on Oʻahu to receive, sort, inventory and store donations until Maui is ready for them. (Screen shot: Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement video)

Today, the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement has opened the Maui Relief Storage Facility, a coordinated donation management center on Oʻahu to receive, sort and inventory donations collected for Maui residents impacted by the wildfires and store them until they are ready to be transported and received on Maui.

The 30,000-square-foot warehouse space is at 200 Keawe St. in Hakuone at Kaka‘ako Makai and is provided by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. The creation of the donation center was coordinated with Hawaiʻi Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke.

The Maui Relief Storage Facility is ready to receive donations from coordinated relief efforts/drives across O‘ahu. Businesses, community organizations, churches, schools, etc. who are collecting and receiving large donations should call 808-341-0622 to coordinate delivery.

Once received at the facility, the donations will be sorted, inventoried and stored until ready to be received on Maui, and then transported.

Unfortunately, the center is not able to accept drop-off donations at this time. Individuals wanting to donate much needed goods and supplies are encouraged to find a donation drive for Maui fire relief in their area. 

“Healing is a process — and while we’ve received tremendous support in donations, we want to be thoughtful and respectful to how we deploy resources to our Maui ʻohana,” Luke said in a press release.

This space previously was used as a shelter.

“The use of our warehouse for Maui relief efforts aligns with OHA’s plan to develop Hakuone in a way that improves the quality of life for Native Hawaiians and our local community,” said Kalei Akaka, OHA O‘ahu Trustee. “We’re here to help. We’re here to serve our Hawaiian people. We stand committed to kōkua in efforts such as this.”

O‘ahu-based non-profit organization Makana O Ke Akua has been selected to facilitate the management of both donated supplies and volunteers at the Maui Relief Storage Facility. They also will provide coordination support between state, county and donation centers. 

The relief storage facility on O‘ahu will work directly with Maui’s donation management center, that opened on Aug. 14, to ensure that relief supplies are coordinated and prioritized, and that what is needed on Maui is getting there as expeditiously as possible.

Federal resource fair today for disaster relief, lost document assistance; Update: 11:21 a.m.

Malcom Center in Kīhei.

Today, Maui residents in need of disaster assistance or who suffered the loss of personal documents during the Maui wildfires can seek help from a number of federal agencies at a resource fair hosted by U.S. Rep. Jill Tokuda.

It will operate from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Maui Economic Development Board’s Malcom Center, 1305 North Holopono St., Suite 5 in Kīhei.

FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell said Saturday that FEMA recognizes that some people who need help have lost everything, including their documents needed to obtain federal and other assistance.

She said the disaster assistance staff on Maui would work with individuals to help them obtain replacement documents that they need or supply information about where the documents can be obtained.

Representatives from the following agencies will be on-hand to assist impacted individuals:

  • U.S. Department of State (Passport Replacement)
  • FEMA (Disaster Aid)
  • The Social Security Administration (Social Security Card Replacement)
  • U.S. Postal Service (Mail Support)
  • The Veterans Administration (Veterans Benefits)
  • Veterans Affairs Pacific Island Health Care System (Health Care Support)
  • Small Business Administration (Small Business Support)
  • USDA Farm Service Agency & Rural Development (Agricultural Support for Producers and Communities)
  • Hawaiʻi Disability Rights Center (Legal and Advocacy Services)
  • Project Vision (Medical and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Benefits)
  • Hawaiian Spiritual Comfort
  • Maui Economic Opportunity (Housing Assistance)

Maui Economic Opportunity will be providing shuttle service from the shelter at the South Maui Community Park Gym to the federal resource fair. The shuttle is reserved for those staying in shelters or community members directly impacted by the fires.

This event is closed to the media, and no videography or photography will be allowed.

For more information, go to ­­­­­

Hawaiian Telcom called in 40 employees from other islands to help with restoration; Update: 8:45 a.m.

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. (Photo Credit: Hawaiian Telcom)

Hawaiian Telcom, with the help of 40 employees from neighbor islands, have restored connectivity this week to the company’s central offices in Lahaina and Nāpili.

As a result, more than 1,500 customers, including the Maui Police Department and key establishments such as banks and hotels in West Maui, have their communication services fully operational once again, the company said in a news release.

In total, communication services have been restored to more than 11,000 customers in Nāpili, Kā’anapali, Kapalua and Makawao. Phone service has been restored in Kula, and crews continue to work on restoring internet service there.

Maui Councilmember Yuki Lei Sugimura said in a news release: “Their swift action to restore connectivity and to stand up WiFi and phone service in Maui shelters was extremely helpful to impacted community members who need to get in touch with loved ones.”

Hawaiian Telcom, with the help of 40 employees from neighbor islands, have restored connectivity this week to the company’s central offices in Lahaina and Nāpili.

As a result, more than 1,500 customers, including the Maui Police Department and key establishments such as banks and hotels in West Maui, have their communication services fully operational once again, the company said in a news release.

In total, communication services have been restored to more than 11,000 customers in Nāpili, Kā’anapali, Kapalua and Makawao. Phone service has been restored in Kula, and crews continue to work on restoring internet service there.

Maui Councilmember Yuki Lei Sugimura said in a news release: “Their swift action to restore connectivity and to stand up WiFi and phone service in Maui shelters was extremely helpful to impacted community members who need to get in touch with loved ones.”

Hawaiʻi Tours seeking volunteers for fire recovery help with clean-up, housing, food; Update 7:50 a.m.

Volunteers help with food delivery to fire survivors. (Screen shot: Hawaiʻi Tours video)

Hawaiʻi Tours usually conducts Road to Hana tours and transportation to tours and activities around the island of Maui, but since the fires the company has ceased those operations and is focusing entirely on fire recovery efforts and disaster relief. The company is seeking donations and local volunteers to help with clean-up, housing, food and medical supplies. If you can contribute in any way or need more information, go to

Significant hazards near burn areas; keep children away, PPE recommended; Update at 7:23 a.m.

Significant hazards exist near all burned structures and areas and objects exposed to smoke.

Maui County officials say to keep children aways from these ares. They should not help with clean-up efforts and should not be near, or play near, areas with ash or debris.

In the areas where structures were burned, individuals will encounter dangerous conditions and may be exposed to toxic materials that include, but are not limited to:

  • Hazardous materials: asbestos, lead, ash, heavy metals, oils, fire retardants, pesticides, silica dust, and other hazardous materials
  • Puncture hazards: broken pipes, exposed nails, broken glass, damaged structural elements
  • Explosive hazards: propane tanks and solvents
  • Toxic airborne particles: asbestos, silica dust and lead
  • Unstable or slippery surfaces and holes in septic systems and burn pits

For those who can return to their properties, County officials urge all individuals to utilize personal protective equipment and to adhere to the following precautions and health and safety guidelines to avoid hazardous exposures:

  • Avoid all burn areas. Do not enter any areas where structures were burned until you receive clearance from authorities.
  • Do not eat in or around any burned areas. Do not eat food that may have been exposed to ash, dust or smoke. Wash and rinse all fruit and vegetables that may have been exposed.
  • Avoid skin contact with ash by wearing long sleeves, gloves, closed shoes and an N100 or P100 respiratory protection and bring a change of clothes to avoid tracking debris in your car home or workplace.
  • Clean all recovered items thoroughly with soap and safe, clean water.
  • Smoke damaged properties and objects may need professional cleaning if heavily exposed or damaged.

County officials have developed a Burn Hazard Details and Warnings Guideline. The CDC Stay Safe After a Wildfire and Wildfire Smoke Factsheet are additional resources available to Maui residents.

More information here.

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.


Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Maui Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments