It's Now the Deadliest US Fire in a Century

Toll in Hawaii is at 93 and counting
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2023 6:29 AM CDT
Hawaii's Wildfire Now Deadliest US Fire in a Century
Hawaii Gov. Josh Green, right, and FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell look at a destroyed building along Saturday, Aug. 12, 2023, in Lahaina, Hawaii.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Now that crews are finally able to search inside burnt-out homes in Hawaii, the inevitable has occurred: The death toll has jumped. The figure stood at 93 on Saturday, making it the deadliest US fire since 1910, according to the National Fire Protection Association. And as Hawaii News Now notes, it's destined to keep rising because crews had searched only 3% of the hardest-hit areas in western Maui. An estimated 2,200 structures were destroyed or damaged in the area, particularly in the popular tourist town of Lahaina, and 86% of them were residential buildings, per the AP.

"The losses approach $6 billion in estimate," said Hawaii Gov. Josh Green, adding that a comprehensive review will be conducted on safety procedures. "People have asked why we are reviewing what's going on and it's because the world has changed ," he said. "A storm now can be a hurricane-fire or a fire-hurricane. That's what we experienced, that's why we're looking into these policies, to find out how we can best protect our people." (No outdoor emergency sirens apparently sounded.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.