Maui wildfires update: 3 more victims identified; 95% of the Lāhainā disaster area has been searched
The names of three more victims of the West Maui wildfires were released Aug. 25, bringing the total number of those identified by the Maui Police Department so far to 38. The death toll remains at 115.
The most recent victims to be identified are:
- 68-year-old Roxanne Ibara-Hinau of Lāhainā.
- 68-year-old Rogelio Mabalot of Lāhainā.
- 67-year-old George Hall III of Kahului.
Click here to see the names of those previously identified.
Maui police also said seven more victims have been identified but are waiting to release those names until next of kin have been notified.
Maui County reported Friday that 95% of the Lāhainā disaster area has been searched; 341 emergency personnel and 50 canine units are continuing to conduct searches of multi-story residential and commercial properties.
Heavy machines are being used to move debris, including vehicles and building materials, so first responders can safely examine properties as part of the search; however, no debris removal operations are underway in Lāhainā at this time.
Underwater search efforts, which began Aug. 19, continued Friday in waters off Lāhainā. U.S. Navy and Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources crews are coordinating the effort with the Maui Fire Department, with drone assistance.
The County also recently released a list of 388 people who have been verified as missing and is asking anyone who recognizes a name and has more information about them that could help find them to contact the FBI at 808-566-4300 or via email at [email protected] as soon as possible.
The list was compiled by the FBI and deemed validated if the first and last name of the unaccounted person was listed, along with a verified contact number of the person who originated the report.
The list is available online.
As of Thursday, 1,732 people originally reported as missing had been found.
Anyone wanting to report someone still unaccounted for can email [email protected] and provide the following information:
- Person reporting: First and last name, contact information (including a valid phone number) and relationship to the missing person.
- Unaccounted individual: First and last name, age or date of birth, last known location and last known physical address.
For those who live on a neighbor island or the mainland who are an immediate family member of a person missing as the result of the Maui wildfires and you want to provide a DNA sample to assist, call the FBI Honolulu Division at 808-566-4300 or email to [email protected].
As of Friday:
- The Olinda Fire remained 85% contained and had burned an estimated 1,081 acres.
- The Kula Fire is now 90% contained and had burned an estimated 202 acres.
- The Lāhainā Fire remained 90% contained after burning an estimated 2,170 acres.
Although containment percentages have not changed much throughout recent days, the Maui Fire Department continues to reassure the public that there are no active threats. A small brushfire ignited the night of Aug. 24 near Maha‘olu Street in Kahului and was quickly extinguished by firefighters.
The Fire Department said complete extinguishment of the Upcountry fires could take an extended period of time given the large burn area and the nature of the rural terrain.
The fires in Lāhainā and Kula destroyed more than 2,200 structures, causing at least an estimated $5.5 billion in damage.
It was also announced Friday that Darryl Oliveira, former administrator of Hawai’i County Civil Defense, on Aug. 28 will take over day-to-day operations of the Maui Emergency Management Agency — including response to the wildfire disaster — as the agency’s interim administrator.
On Aug. 24, the County filed a lawsuit against Maui Electric Co., Hawaiian Electric Co., Hawaiʻi Electric Light Co. and Hawaiian Electric Industries for civil damages caused to the County’s public property and resources caused by wildfires, including fires in Lāhainā and in Kula.
Among the lawsuit’s allegations is that the defendants acted negligently by failing to power down their electrical equipment despite a National Weather Service red flag warning issued Aug. 7.
On Friday, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O’Connell and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Administrator Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon traveled to Maui to visit people impacted by the devastating wildfires and Health and Human Services response personnel.
Becerra and O’Connell also visited with local and state leaders for an update about response efforts and how the federal department can further assist those impacted.
Their visit came just four days after President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden were on Maui to survey the area devastated by the Lāhainā Fire, the deadliest U.S. wildfire in the past century, and meet with emergency responders, survivors, community members and federal, state and local officials.