Wildfire on Maui, August 2023

14 Aug 2023


A fast-moving wildfire that began August 8th on the Hawaiian island of Maui destroyed the historic town of Lahaina. At least 100 people were killed and approximately 1,000 people are still missing as search and rescue efforts begin. Thousands of people were evacuated and 1,600 are living in shelters. Over 2,000 buildings and structures were damaged or destroyed and the fire burned over 2,000 acres. There are other smaller fires burning on Maui and the big island of Hawaii as well.

The exact cause of the fire has yet to be established. Red-flag conditions, however, allowed the fire, once started, to grow and spread rapidly. The humidity was low the vegetation was dry due to low levels of rain. Hurricane Dora was moving to the south of the island, and although it did not make landfall, strong winds from the outer bands knocked down trees and electrical poles and whipped embers and flames of the fire. Adding to the danger, many people reportedly did not receive emergency notices and there were limited evacuation routes for evacuation.


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