Maui's Main Town Lahaina Destroyed in a Forest Fire; US Coast Guard Rescues Civilians Fleeing Fire Into the Ocean
On August 9, 2023, much of historic Lahaina was destroyed by wildfires. Six people are confirmed to have died; Death toll will rise.
August 14, 2023
Update, 8.11.23: State authorities say the death toll has risen to 59. Emergency workers and volunteers from Maui and other parts of the State search the burned out town. The governor and sheriff pledged to rebuild Lahaina, which is 80% destroyed. The fires on Maui were said to be 80% contained by Thursday night. Hotels and shelters were lined up for several months of housing. Power and water were still out in West Maui.
Update, 8.10: At least 36 deaths were connected to the fires, local officials said. Hundreds of buildings were damaged. West Maui remained without power Thursday, and a frantic exodus from the popular tourist destination was underway.
8.9.23 The core area of a popular tourist town on Maui has been lost to a forest fire that invaded the town of 13,000. Lahaina, Hawaii is basically destroyed after a fire. The US Coast Guard reports rescuing at least a dozen people who fled the fire by heading out to sea. Six deaths have been confirmed, but the death toll will undoubtedly rise as many failed to escape the doomed city.
"The scenes coming out of Lahaina town are devastating. My sister still has one friend (and his wife & kids) unaccounted for. He is a whale watch boat Captain in Lahaina, so if you're a praying person, please pray they just haven't got cell service to reach out." tweeted Beth Dee.
"Anyone who has ever been to Lahaina, Maui knows the old Banyan Tree, The Pioneer Inn and Front Street. It's all gone now and it's nearly impossible to fathom." tweeted Kelly Fine.
"I'm in shambles as I'm clocking in for work. I'm definitely not ready to see what Lahaina looks like but I'm always ready to help rebuild that community. Prayers for all the families affected by this devastation. " tweeted Benj.
"People of #Maui #MauiFires I can not reach my Uncle. His name is Mark Stefl. He’s the only 7 foot dude on the island. He’s a well known tile contractor, avid bike rider and just an overall good human. Please help me find him." tweeted @johnACastaneda.
Video of the devastation to Lahaina, may be seen at: https://twitter.com/US_Stormwatch/status/1689385072691183617?s=20
Aerial footage of the damage may be seen at : https://twitter.com/unhealthytruth/status/1689416172020654080?s=20
Lahaina is the largest census-designated place in West Maui, Maui County, Hawaii, United States and includes the Kaanapali and Kapalua beach resorts. As of the 2020 census, the CDP had a resident population of 12,702. Lahaina's popularity as a tropical getaway has made its real estate some of the most expensive in Hawaii; many houses and condominiums sell for more than $5 million, says wikipedia.
Lahaina was the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii from 1820 to 1845, when the capital was moved back to Honolulu. In the 19th century, Lahaina was the center of the global whaling industry, with many sailing ships anchoring at its waterfront; today pleasure craft make their home there.
Lahaina's Front Street has been ranked one of the "Top Ten Greatest Streets" by the American Planning Association. On August 9, 2023, much of historic Lahaina was destroyed by wildfires.