Roth to form Hawaiʻi County task force to assist with response to devastating Maui brush fires

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Lahaina fire on Maui on Aug. 8, 2023. (Photo Credit: Annalise Johnson)

Hawaiʻi County Mayor Mitch Roth is forming a Hawaiʻi County Task Force for Maui County Recovery Assistance in response to the devastating bush fires that swept through Lahaina and greater Maui County yesterday.

“The devastation that occurred throughout Maui yesterday is more than a singular county issue,” Roth said. “It is a Hawaiʻi issue, and we are prepared to work hand-in-hand with our partners here on Hawaiʻi Island to coordinate our resources and lend whatever meaningful support we can to assist Maui in their recovery. An incident like this could easily occur on any one of our islands, and we know that our fellow mayors, state leaders and the governor would do the same for us.”

The objective of the task force will be to establish a unified front of expertise, resources and assistance to aid Maui County in its recovery. The task force will work with local agencies, organizations and volunteers to identify needs, coordinate efforts and redirect resources effectively.


A diverse range of experts and personnel from various Hawaiʻi County departments, the Hawaiʻi County Council and partner organizations will comprise the task force, including the mayor’s office, Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense and the County departments of Planning, Housing, Research and Development, Public Works, Finance, Environmental Management, IT, Corporation Counsel and several other County agencies. The Hawaiʻi Police Department and Hawaiʻi Fire Department also will be involved.

Partner organizations working in the nonprofit and community support service space, as well as relevant for-profit agencies interested in assisting, will be invited to contribute.

The task force will focus on areas such as infrastructure and utility restoration, housing and shelter assistance, economic recovery and small business support and food and sustenance support.


Key responsibilities of the Hawaiʻi County Task Force for Maui County Recovery Assistance will include collaborating with Maui County officials to identify immediate and long-term recovery needs, mobilizing resources, providing emergency communications support, assisting in infrastructure and utility restoration, proposing housing/shelter solutions, aiding economic recovery and engaging with the community.

Big Island organizations interested in participating can contact Cyrus Johnasen, Hawaiʻi County public information officer and executive assistant to Roth, via email at [email protected].

Mayor Mitch Roth emphasizes the importance of open communication and transparent reporting. The task force coordinator will regularly update Hawaiʻi County and Maui County officials, while public information channels such as websites, social media and press releases will be used to keep the public informed about the recovery efforts and progress.


“Our ‘ohanas extend beyond our borders, and so does our aloha and kuleana,” Roth said.

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