The Maui Fire Department (MFD) advises the public that extinguishing the Upcountry fires may take an extended period of time given the large burn area and the nature of the rural terrain. Although containment percentages have not changed over recent days, MFD continues to reassure the public there are no active threats among the three ongoing fires.
Variable winds with mostly dry conditions are expected today, 9/5. In Lahaina, dry conditions are expected with daytime sea breezes and nighttime land breezes. The Kula area should see gently upslope winds during the day with isolated showers during the afternoon and evening. Light downslope winds with gradual clearing is expected at night. A moderate south swell should peak today, 9/5 into Wednesday near or just below the High Surf Advisory threshold. Moderate trade winds will return on Wednesday, becoming breezy by the end of the week.
FATALITY AND SEARCH UPDATE
Confirmed fatality numbers and identification information are included in the Maui Police Department’s daily press release, anticipated to be issued by 6 p.m. daily. For that information, please visit: bit.ly/MauiPoliceNews. There are 115 confirmed fatalities, with 100% of the Lahaina disaster area searched, according to officials.
ENTRY INTO DISASTER AREAS
At this time, there is no list allowing residents to return to the disaster area in Lahaina. There will be a coordinated effort to develop a plan for the safe return of residents. Currently, the disaster area is restricted to authorized personnel only. Dangers include ash that may contain toxic, cancer-causing chemicals with debris including broken glass, exposed electrical wire, and other objects. Unstable structures may contain hazardous materials and could collapse, causing injury. For those who can return to their properties, county officials urge all individuals to utilize Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). For more PPE recommendations, go to bit.ly/WestMauiCaution.
UNSAFE WATER ADVISORY
The County of Maui Department of Water Supply continues collecting water samples for daily testing in Unsafe Water Advisory areas of Lahaina and Kula. Results take several days to obtain, and the department must replicate the results several times before the Unsafe Water Advisory can be lifted. The department is working with the Hawaiʻi Department of Health, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and a Purdue University expert to ensure the water is safe before canceling the Unsafe Water Advisory.
Until further notice, residents in Unsafe Water Advisory areas of Lahaina and Kula should only use bottled water or potable water provided from tankers for things like drinking, brushing teeth, ice-making and food preparation. Residents in impacted areas are not able to treat the water in any way to make it safe to consume, with contaminants possibly having entered the water system.
For potable water, please bring large, sterilized water containers to:
An interactive map depicting the precise location of the Unsafe Water Advisory is available at bit.ly/mauiwateradvisory.
We still need your help identifying individuals reported unaccounted for following the Lahaina wildfire disaster. The validated list of names is available at mauinuistrong.info/unaccountedfor. If you recognize a name on the list and know the person to be safe, or have additional information that may help locate them, please contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at (888) 814-7693 or go to www.fbi.gov/MauiFires.
Anyone wishing to report an individual who is still unaccounted for is asked to email [email protected] and provide the following information:
For those seeking information regarding those who are unaccounted for, the Family Assistance Center (FAC) is located at the Hyatt Regency’s Monarchy Ballroom, 200 Nohea Kai Drive, Ka‘anapali. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
If you live on a neighbor island or the U.S. Mainland, are the immediate family member of a person missing as the result of the Maui wildfires, and you wish to provide a DNA sample to assist, please call the FBI Honolulu Division at (808) 566-4300 or email [email protected].
DNA samples are only for identification of wildfire victims and survivors, and will not be stored or used for any other purpose.
The FAC has received reports about Maui community members receiving calls from individuals or organizations claiming to be with “DNA Services.” These telephone calls are scams, and anyone receiving them should hang up immediately and report them to the Maui Police Department’s non-emergency number at (808) 244-6400.
HAZARDOUS MATERIALS REMOVAL
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been assigned by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to survey, remove, and dispose of hazardous material from properties affected by the wildfires in Lahaina, Kula, and Olinda. Hazardous materials could include compressed gas cylinders, pesticides, fertilizers and ammunition, as well as lithium-ion batteries, and in particular solar battery storage on homes. As of September 4, the EPA has two reconnaissance teams and six removal teams in Lahaina performing assessment and removal of hazardous materials for Phase 1. EPA has completed work in Kula and has completed removal of hazardous material at 268 properties in total, which is roughly 15% of the total number of properties. EPA is adding three more teams to have a total of 9 removal teams working in Lahaina.
LAHAINA HARBOR ACCESS
For the most up-to-date information regarding Lahaina Harbor access, future salvage operations and available resources, please go to the U.S. Coast Guard Homeport, Sector Honolulu website at
https://homeport.uscg.mil/port-directory/honolulu. The information is under Safety Notifications within the Safety Alerts. Select “Western Maui Wildfires Stakeholder Guide,” dated August 28, 2023.
Restrictions for late-night vehicular access into West Maui via Honoapiʻilani Highway have been lifted recently. The Maui Police Department will cite and tow vehicles parked at the Lahaina Bypass, where no-parking signs are posted. The impact zone remains off limits, as outlined in the second emergency proclamation signed on August 8, 2023, by Mayor Richard Bissen.
FOOD DISTRIBUTION / DONATIONS
Food and supplies will be distributed to West Maui residents at Lahaina Gateway, 325 Keawe St.: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, 9/6. The selection and quantity of items will be reduced in preparation for a move to a new location at Kahana Gateway, 4405 Lower Honoapiilani Road. On-site mobile health vehicle.
The old Kahului Safeway at 170 E. Kamehameha Ave. is open as a new location to accept donations of non-perishable food, water and paper supplies only. Donations will be accepted on Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Those impacted by the fires can also pick up supplies. Donations are no longer being accepted at the former location at Queen Kaʻahumanu Center.
Feed my Sheep mobile food distribution sites are set up at: 150 South Pu‘unene Ave. in Kahului (9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturdays) and in the parking lot next to Living Way Church, at the corner of Market and Mokuhau streets in Happy Valley (10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Fridays).
RESOURCE HUB: DONATION & VOLUNTEER INFORMATION
An online, centralized hub to respond to the impacts of the Maui Wildfire Disaster is available at mauinuistrong.info. The County of Maui’s “Maui Nui Strong” site offers information on how to donate, volunteer, offer services and locate support. Support information on the Maui Nui Strong site includes resources for Financial Assistance, Government Services, Medical Care, Mental Health Services and more.
The State of Hawaiʻi and Maui County have launched the Maui Disaster Support Call Center. The call center can be reached at (808) 727-1550 between 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and provides a central assistance hub for community members affected by the Maui wildfires.
COMMUNITY INFORMATION BOARDS
Information boards are now located at these locations:
Hotel shelter locations are open at 24 locations around Maui, in coordination with the American Red Cross. There were 5,852 people housed overnight Monday at the locations, which provide a temporary solution to give families and individuals a comfortable and safe place to stay near their community while more permanent housing plans are developed. Residents in hotels receive the same Red Cross services previously provided in shelters, including meals, mental health support, health services, reunification services, spiritual care, financial assistance and casework. As part of the recovery process, Red Cross caseworkers connect one-on-one with people to create recovery plans, navigate complex paperwork and locate help from other agencies.
Residents who are sheltering in hotels will be asked to show proof of prior residency within impacted areas of Maui County by September 15. People who are unable to provide proof of residency, including non-citizens and those who did not have stable housing prior to the disaster, should call (800) 733-2767 for help.
Anyone who meets requirements once the Safe Harbor Sheltering program ends can expect to receive lodging support for the next six months to a year. The determination for a continued stay beyond the Safe Harbor end date is based on meeting eligibility criteria, which is a determination of the state and FEMA and not a decision made by the Red Cross.
To register with FEMA for shelter or financial assistance, call 1 (800) 621-3362, visit disasterassistance.gov, or apply through the FEMA smartphone app. You can also get assistance in person. A Disaster Recovery Center operates daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the University of Hawai‘i Maui College (310 W. Ka‘ahumanu Ave., Community Services Building 205).
A Disaster Recovery Center is now available at the Lahaina Civic Center gymnasium, 1840 Honoapiʻilani Highway from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
An additional FEMA Disaster Recovery Center is open at the Mayor Hannibal Tavares Community Center, located at 91 Pukalani St., Makawao. Services are available from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
People who do not meet FEMA qualifications will be eligible for hotel emergency lodging through the Red Cross, including non-citizens and those who were homeless prior to the fires. For information, call 1 (800) 733-2767.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has temporarily waived certain eligibility rules to ensure that people receiving federal disaster assistance due to the Maui fires can easily apply for and enroll in Lifeline, a federal program that helps lower the cost of phone and internet service. More information, including how to enroll, is available at https://www.lifelinesupport.org/.
Vacant PO Boxes at Post Offices across Maui will be temporarily made available at no charge to Lahaina residents who lost their homes or their Lahaina Downtown Post Office PO Boxes. Qualifying residents may request their free PO Boxes at any Maui post office. The latest updates on mail service are available by calling (808) 423-6000. Displaced customers who would like to redirect their mail to new addresses should submit US Postal Service Change of Address requests as soon as possible online at bit.ly/3PjWL6u or at their local post office.
UNEMPLOYMENT Workers, business owners and self-employed residents of Maui who became unemployed or had reduced work hours due to the wildfires may be eligible for disaster unemployment benefits from Aug. 13, 2023 to Feb. 10, 2024 if unemployment continues to be a direct result of the disaster. Regular unemployment insurance and disaster unemployment benefits cannot be paid at the same time. The deadline to apply is Sept. 25. To apply go to https://uiclaims.hawaii.gov. Those who are not able to file online can apply toll-free:(833) 901-2272; (833) 901-2275; (808) 762-5751 or (808) 762-5752.
MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT Many people are experiencing strong emotions, anguish, and deep loss following the devastating Maui Wildfires. Mental health support is available. Visit www.mauinuistrong.info for a comprehensive list of resources for individuals, families and helpers. In addition, the Red Cross Disaster Distress Helpline is available 24/7 for counseling and support: (800) 985-5990.
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