Hawaii wildfires

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Death Toll From Last Year's Maui Wildfire Rises to 102

Woman who died in March determined to have died from fire injuries

(Newser) - The death toll from the deadliest US wildfire in over a century, which devastated the historic town of Lahaina on the Hawaiian island of Maui last year, has risen to 102, authorities said Monday. Claudette Heermance, 68, died in hospice care in Honolulu on March 28 of injuries suffered in...

Chiefs Say Deadly Maui Fires Exposed Many Issues

Report describes firefighters' heroism, makes 111 recommendations

(Newser) - The Maui wildfires in August were America's deadliest wildfires in more than a century—and while the response from firefighters was heroic, the "largest and most extensive deployment" in the history of the county's fire department exposed many issues, an After Action Report produced by the Western...

Unshared Wildfire Plan in Hawaii Only Raises Questions

Regulators weren't shown document until last week

(Newser) - Hawaiian Electric's chief executive reassured a congressional committee last week that the utility has a major wildfire mitigation plan in place, one that was completed in January after four years of development. Shelee Kimura's testimony, and the document, have raised a series of questions from regulators, including, "...

Lahaina to Hawaii Governor: We're Not Ready to Reopen

Residents deliver petition asking to delay new tourism, but it's a tricky economic situation

(Newser) - Residents from fire-stricken Lahaina on Tuesday delivered a petition asking Hawaii Gov. Josh Green to delay plans to reopen a portion of West Maui to tourism starting this weekend, saying the grieving community is not ready to welcome back visitors. The petition signed by 3,517 people from West Maui...

Woman Who Ran Through Burning Maui Field Dies

Laurie Allen, who escaped Lahaina's wildfire 7 weeks ago, succumbed to her injuries Friday

(Newser) - A woman who escaped Hawaii's Lahaina wildfire by running through a flaming field has died after spending more than seven weeks in a hospital burn unit. Laurie Allen died Friday at Straub Medical Center in Honolulu, according to a GoFundMe page set up for her and her husband, Perry...

Symbol of Hope Emerges in Lahaina
Symbol of Hope
Emerges in Lahaina

Symbol of Hope Emerges in Lahaina

Hawaiian town's scorched banyan tree sprouts new leaves after intensive treatment

(Newser) - Among a sea of brown, black, and gray, a hint of green in the scorched Maui town of Lahaina is cause for celebration. Locals have spotted new growth on the 150-year-old banyan tree that serves as a landmark at the center of the town largely destroyed in the Aug. 8...

After DNA Tests, Maui Death Toll Drops to 97

People died huddled together, coroner says

(Newser) - Authorities in Hawaii have adjusted the number of deaths from the deadly Maui wildfire down to at least 97 people. Officials previously said they believed at least 115 people had died in the fire, but further testing showed they had multiple DNA samples from some of the victims. The number...

Oprah, the Rock: 'This Is What You Can Do' to Help Maui

Stars announce fund to help displaced residents

(Newser) - Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson have committed $10 million to make direct payments to people on Maui who are unable to return to their homes because of the wildfires, through a new fund they announced this week. The People's Fund of Maui will give $1,200...

NWS Issues 'Red Flag Warning' for All of Hawaii

Weather agency says wind gusts, low humidity have upped risk of rapid-spreading fires on islands

(Newser) - The National Weather Service on Wednesday warned that gusty winds and low humidity have increased the risk that fires could spread rapidly in the western parts of each Hawaiian island, three weeks after a deadly blaze tore through a coastal Maui town during a similar alert. But the agency said...

Survivors Describe a New Condition: 'Fire Brain'

After wildfires, some face a double-whammy of trauma and cognitive impairments from smoke

(Newser) - The first order of business in a wildfire, of course, is to survive the wildfire. But more and more, researchers are seeing evidence of cognitive impairment in such survivors after they were exposed to wildfire smoke, reports the Washington Post . And that's in addition to the very real possibility...

In Torched Maui, a Shred of 'Positive News'
Maui's Number of Missing
Changes Dramatically

Maui's Number of Missing Changes Dramatically

Of the 388 people verified as missing, more than 100 say they're safe

(Newser) - Almost as soon as Maui's number of missing changed dramatically, it may have changed dramatically again. The AP reports that within a day of officials releasing the names of the 388 people who were verified as still missing Thursday, more than 100 of those names might be able to...

Maui County Sues Utility for Not Shutting Off Power

Filing says Hawaiian Electric knew the danger from high winds

(Newser) - Maui County sued Hawaiian Electric on Thursday over the fires that devastated Lahaina, saying the utility negligently failed to shut off power despite exceptionally high winds and dry conditions. Witness accounts and video indicated that sparks from power lines ignited fires as utility poles snapped in the winds, which were...

850 Still Missing After Maui Wildfires
Count of Those
Unaccounted for
in Maui Goes Up

Count of Those Unaccounted for in Maui Goes Up

New figure tops 1K

(Newser) - Officials on Tuesday upped the number of people who have not been accounted for following the Maui wildfires. Two days after putting the figure at 850, officials put the number in the 1,000 to 1,100 range. "That doesn't mean necessarily ... that these people are, in fact,...

On Maui, Biden Promises Long-Term Help in Rebuilding

'The devastation is overwhelming,' president says

(Newser) - President Biden saw the devastation left by the Maui wildfires in person on Monday, assuring Hawaiians of the federal government's commitment to providing lasting help with the recovery. "The country grieves with you, stands with you and will do everything possible to help you recover," Biden said...

First Wildfire IDs Reflect Vulnerability of Older People

Officials name six victims in Hawaii, all over 70

(Newser) - The pattern will shift when more people killed in the Maui wildfires are identified, but the first names released illustrate the statistical reality that older people are at the greatest risk of dying in a fire. The six people identified by Thursday were all older than 70, the Guardian reports....

Maui Official Who Declined to Deploy Emergency Sirens Steps Down

Herman Andaya resigned citing health reasons

(Newser) - Outdoor alert sirens on Maui stayed silent as a ferocious fire devastated the seaside community of Lahaina last week. The head of the Maui Emergency Management Agency said he had no regrets about not deploying the system as a warning to people on the island. A day after making that...

Maui Fire 'Was Not Only Predictable, It Was Predicted'

Lawsuits say Hawaiian Electric knew of wildfire risks but failed to act promptly

(Newser) - The deadliest US wildfire in more than a century "was not only predictable, it was predicted" by Hawaiian Electric and "anyone else who bothered to look into the issue," says Mikel Watts, the lead attorney in a lawsuit filed against the company Wednesday. The lawsuit accuses the...

Hawaii Governor: This Is Like 'What We Saw With 9/11'

Most remains are unrecognizable and lack fingerprints

(Newser) - The wildfire death toll stands at 106 in Maui and is expected to climb, and identifying the lost will be no easy task, says Hawaii Gov. Josh Green. He tells CNN that "this is much like you see in a war zone or what we saw with 9/11,"...

After Leading Response to Vegas Massacre, He's Maui's Police Chief

John Pelletier referenced the 2017 tragedy while discussing wildfire victims

(Newser) - The death toll in Maui's devastating wildfires climbed to 106 on Tuesday, Maui County officials told CNN , warning that it could end up significantly higher considering only about a third of the search area has been combed so far. And the police chief dealing with the fallout is no...

It Felt Like a Nightmare. 'Then You Realize You're Burning'

The AP has the story of Lahaina residents whose split-second decisions saved them

(Newser) - In Lahaina, Hawaii, there were no sirens, no one with bullhorns, no one to tell anyone what to do: Residents were on their own to choose whether to stay or to run, and where to run to—through smoke so thick it blinded them, flames closing in from every direction,...

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