Health updates for Maui wildfire areas including: air and water quality, runoff, vital records, medical services
The Hawaiʻi Department of Health continues to provide services to Maui residents impacted by the August 2023 wildfires.
“Our hearts go out to those impacted by the devastation of this tragedy,” said State Health Director Dr. Kenneth Fink. “Local community partners have done a heroic job, and support from the broader healthcare community has been unbelievable. We have marshalled resources from across the Department of Health to support the Maui community, and we continue to coordinate closely with our community, county, state, and federal partners.”
For updates, visit https://health.hawaii.gov/mauiwildfires/
DOH also launched a call center to connect impacted residents with non-emergency medical services, mental health support, and other services. Call 833-833-3431 or 808-586-4468 Monday throughFriday from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Emergency Prescription Assistance Program Available to Uninsured Maui Residents
The US Department of Health and Human Services approved the State of Hawaiʻi’s request to activate the Emergency Prescription Assistance Program, which helps Maui residents impacted by the wildfires who do not have health insurance get the prescription drugs and medical equipment that they need to stay healthy.
Maui residents impacted by the wildfires who do not have any form of prescription insurance should call the EPAP toll-free hotline at 1-855-793-7470 to verify eligibility and register.
Following registration, individuals will need to obtain a valid prescription from a healthcare provider and fill their prescription at a pharmacy that is enrolled in EPAP. Prescriptions for medications and medical supplies may be renewed every 30 days for as long as EPAP is active.
Medical & Mental Health Services Available to Maui Residents
DOH’s Lahaina Health Center continues to provide general medical care, prescription refills, and mental health services. The Lahaina clinic is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The clinic is located on Akoakoa Place, below the Lāhainā Civic Center. No appointment is necessary for clinic services and insurance is not required. For information, call 833-833-3431 or 808-586-4468 Monday throughFriday from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m Mobile visits are also available, covering neighborhoods from Leialiʻi to Honokōhau Valley.
Participating community partners include Mauliola Pharmacy, Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center the Hawaiʻi Independent Physicians Association, Maui Optix and Hui No Ke Ola Pono.
DOH’s Maui Community Mental Health Center in Wailuku is also available to support individuals impacted by the wildfires. The CHMC is open Monday-Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Contact the Maui CMHC at 808-984-2150, via email at [email protected] or in person at 121 Mahalani Street in Wailuku.
The Hawaiʻi CARES Crisis Line is also available 24/7 by calling or texting 988 or visiting hicares.hawaii.gov.
DOH, EPA Continue to Support Maui Department of Water Supply on Unsafe Water Advisories
DOH and the US Environmental Protection Agency continue to provide technical support to the Maui Department of Water Supply, which issued Unsafe Water Advisories for Lahaina and Upper Kula.
The Department of Water Supply is advising Lahaina and Upper Kula residents not to drink and not to boil the tap water as it may pose a health risk, even if it’s boiled. Residents will not be able to treat the water in any way to make it safe for consumption.
Bottled water should be used for all drinking, brushing teeth, ice making and food preparation.
The County of Maui is posting updates on its Unsafe Water Advisories at https://www.mauicounty.gov/water.
Preparations in Place to Prevent Stormwater Runoff
Rainfall may impact Lahaina and Upcountry communities as stormwater runoff – rain flow over the surface of land – has the potential to pick up harmful pollutants like chemicals, sediment and debris.
Heavy rainfall after a wildfire can greatly increase the risks of other dangers such as flash floods, debris flows, landslides and rockfalls. DOH reminds the public to avoid storm drainage and natural drainage channels due to rapid flowing waters.
Maui County is working with the US Coast Guard and other partners to deploy Best Management Practices or pollution control measures, that could include things like silt fences, hay bales or dams to prevent or reduce pollutants that may be picked up in stormwater runoff.
There are health hazards associated with burned debris and ash that are potentially contaminated with pathogens and pollutants.
DOH advises the public to steer clear of floodwaters and stormwater runoff at all times due to the possible overflow of cesspools, sewers, presence of pesticides, animal fecal matter, pathogens, toxic chemicals and associated burned debris. Avoid the water if it is brown or has a foul odor.
DOH also recommends individuals avoid any activities in wet soil, freshwater and marine water if an individual has cuts or open wounds. Always wear gloves, shoes, and protective gear to minimize exposures to viruses, pathogens, bacteria and harmful chemicals. Seek medical assistance if feeling unwell.
Hazard Advisory for Individuals Returning to Impacted Areas
The burn area is hazardous, and DOH advises avoiding the burn area until search and recovery efforts are completed, and it is cleared of hazardous waste and structural ash. Those near the burn site should wear protective face masks, goggles, and gloves, long sleeves, pants, socks and shoes to avoid skin contact with ash. DOH recommends wearing a tight-fitting respirator mask — look for the words NIOSH or N95 printed on the mask.
Please take necessary precautions and seek medical assistance if feeling unwell. Children and pregnant people are at higher risk from the debris hazards and should not help with clean-up efforts.
Top hazard concerns in the burn area include unstable structures, debris and toxic contaminants present in debris and ash. Other heavy metals and chemicals may also be present in ash after a wildfire and could present a hazard.
New Lahaina Air Quality Data Now Available
DOH has deployed additional particulate (PM2.5) sensors in Lahaina to monitor air quality. Data is now available from three monitoring sites in Lahaina. Click here to view monitoring data.
DOH’s Clean Air Branch continues to advise individuals in impacted areas – especially those who suffer from pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis or emphysema – to take precautionary measures or leave the area until the fire is contained, and the smoke subsides.
Replacing Vital Records
Individuals impacted by the Maui wildfires who need replacement vital records, which include birth and marriage certificates, can place an order online at https://vitrec.ehawaii.gov.
DOH will accept temporary driver’s licenses or state I.D. cards to verify the order. A relative may make the order on behalf of the person needing the replacement by uploading a copy of their own government ID (if born in Hawai‘i) to establish a relationship to the impacted individual. If not born in Hawai‘i, additional documents may need to be shown to verify the relationship. Permitted relatives can include a grandparent, parent, child, sibling, aunt, uncle, or cousin.
The fee for an affected individual’s first copy of a replacement vital record will be waived with a FEMA disaster assistance ID Number and/or a Lahaina residential address.
For more information on replacing vital records, please contact the Maui Vital Records hotline at 808-984-2400 ext. 6-4602 Monday through Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.,or by email at [email protected].
Replacing Medical Cannabis 329 Patient Registration Cards
DOH will also provide a free replacement 329 registration card to Maui residents impacted by wildfires who are registered as part of Hawaiʻi’s Medical Cannabis Patient Program.
Individuals with an existing registration can download an electronic card by logging into medmj.ehawaii.gov Registered patients can also request a new card by mail by filling out a Medical Cannabis Patient Registry change form.
For additional questions on replacing 329 patient registration cards, call 808-733-2177 or email [email protected].
Volunteer Medical Services
DOH is coordinating efforts for healthcare providers to support the West Maui community. Health care providers (MD, PA, APRN, NP, RN or Behavioral Health Practitioner) interested in volunteering should complete an online form.
Health care providers can also consider volunteering with organizations including: