Lahaina, a Historic Town in Hawaii, Reduced to Ashes by Devastating Wildfire: How You Can Help with Recovery Efforts

In a devastating turn of events, the historic town of Lahaina on Hawaii's Maui island has been reduced to ashes by a fast-moving wildfire.[0] The once neat and picturesque town has now become a scene of destruction and devastation. The flames tore through the town's historic downtown, destroying at least 1,700 buildings and leaving behind a scorched landscape. Before-and-after photos of Lahaina show the extent of the damage caused by the fire.[1]

The wildfire on Maui has claimed the lives of more than 50 people, and officials fear that the death toll may rise even further. The destruction caused by the fire is unprecedented, surpassing the number of fatalities in a disastrous tsunami that struck the Big Island in 1960. The exact cause of the fire is still unknown, but experts believe that human development on the island may have played a role in exacerbating the destruction.[2]

The Maui Food Bank has been working tirelessly to provide assistance to those affected by the wildfire.[3] The organization collects and distributes food to anyone in Maui County who is at risk of going hungry, including those impacted by the disaster.[4] With every $1 donated, the Maui Food Bank is able to provide 4 meals to those in need.[4] Donations can be made through the food bank's website.[4]

The Hawai'i Community Foundation has also set up the Maui Strong Fund to support fire victims.[3] The foundation has already raised $1 million to help those affected by the wildfire, and donations can be made through their website.[4] Volunteers are also encouraged to lend a helping hand to those in need.

President Joe Biden has declared a major disaster in Hawaii, freeing up federal aid to support the recovery efforts on Maui.[3] The devastation caused by the wildfires is expected to be the largest natural disaster in Hawaii's history.[5] Satellite images reveal the widespread destruction left in the wake of the deadly fires, providing a sobering view of the scope of the disaster.[6]

The Attorney General's office has announced that they will be conducting a comprehensive review of the decision-making and policies surrounding the wildfires.[7] The exact cause of the fires is still under investigation, but dry conditions, hot temperatures, and strong winds from Hurricane Dora are believed to have fueled the flames.[3]

As the recovery efforts continue, access to Lahaina through Maalaea will be reopened to residents and visitors. However, West Maui remains without power and water, and search crews are tirelessly working to locate and assist victims of the wildfire.[8]

The destruction of Lahaina is not just a loss for the local community, but also for the historical and cultural significance of the town. Lahaina was once a thriving center of Hawaii, serving as the capital of the monarchy and a hub of whaling and tourism.[1] The town holds great importance to the native Hawaiian people, who have a deep connection to the ancestral knowledge and traditions that Lahaina represents.[9]

The road to recovery for Lahaina will be long and challenging, but with the support of organizations like the Maui Food Bank and the Hawai'i Community Foundation, as well as the assistance of federal aid, the town can begin to rebuild and heal. The resilience and strength of the community will be crucial in overcoming this devastating tragedy and restoring Lahaina to its former glory.

0. “Maui fire: Historic Lahaina banyan tree appears to be scorched but standing” NPR, 11 Aug. 2023,

1. ““Living the Climate Emergency”: Native Hawaiian Kaniela Ing on Fires & Colonialism” Democracy Now!, 11 Aug. 2023,

2. “How did the Maui fires start? Human habitation may be partly to blame” USA TODAY, 9 Aug. 2023,

3. “Biden declares Hawaii wildfires a major disaster” POLITICO, 10 Aug. 2023,

4. “How to help those affected by the Maui wildfires” CBS News, 11 Aug. 2023,

5. “Watch: The view from above Lahaina shows an ashy ‘grid of misery'” NBC News, 12 Aug. 2023,

6. “Before and after images reveal Hawaii's Lahaina destruction from wildfires” Axios, 9 Aug. 2023,

7. “Hawaii wildfire death toll hits 67 as probe launched into blaze response” Al Jazeera English, 12 Aug. 2023,

8. “Limited into West Maui starts for residents at noon; Curfew between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.” Maui Now, 11 Aug. 2023,

9. “An update on Maui's wildfire disaster from Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono” NPR, 10 Aug. 2023,

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