maui fire updates
August 18, 2023 10:20am
Restrictions have rolled back again. Now travel to the west side of the island is permitted, with the exception of Lāhainā town. Lāhainā will take a long time to recover and we are asking visitors to stay away from the area, but traveling to Kaanapali and further north along the bypass are now permitted.
August 14, 2023 10:20am
Travel to and from West Maui is restricted to those who are residents of the west side or those who are directly helping with the efforts over there. Most tourists have vacated that side of the island. The governor has recently issued his 5th Proclamation Relating to Wildfires. You can find that here. The Hawaii Tourism Authority has also put out their travel advisories, which also relate to West Maui. You can find their press release here.
The rest of the island is open at this time, however we ask that you please be considerate of the local families who have lost everything while you’re here. Certainly our local shops and businesses could use your support, but know that we are still in mourning and a healing phase right now. Please do not attempt to travel to Lahaina or the West end at this time. See the above graphic. Thank you for your understanding!
August 11, 2023 5:20am
The above graphic is from yesterday morning. Sadly, very little information on the update of the fires is coming out. What we have heard is that firefighters are doing a great job moving towards containment. The view from my house looks out at Haleakala and I was able to see where the upcountry fires were by the smoke. Last night before I went to bed I searched a long time for any kind of glow up there from fires and I couldn’t see any. I’ve heard they have moved into gulches where they are tough to access but away from any structures.
Here’s a quick breakdown from my understanding:
- Air support has been able to reduce all fires significantly.
- Lahaina town has been destroyed. Kaanapali, Honokowai, Napili and Kapalua are fine, but there is no power to that side of the island. Maui Electric Company is working on restoring power out there.
- Upcountry fires are in wildland areas no longer close to residences. Not sure the size of them or if they are contained or even still active. I see no fire at all in those areas from my lanai. The last few days I was able to tell from the smoke and glow where they were, today I see nothing.
- Kihei, Wailea, Maalaea, Central Maui, Paia, Makawao, Haiku, Hana, etc. are unaffected.
- Our airbnbs in Kihei are all fine. We have guests in all of them right now. Some we’ve put up visitors from Lahaina who were displaced. I think we have one checkout today, so one will be open for anyone else needing shelter. All guests checked in with us yesterday and are still able to enjoy their stay and the beaches and restaurants are all open.
VISITORS COMING TO MAUI:
Understand that Lahaina is gone. There are a lot of displaced residents in shelters and crews are working to clean the disaster over there. Traffic is not allowed into Lahaina at this time. The rest of the island is all still operational. If you were planning a trip and you were supposed to stay in Lahaina, Kaanapali or anywhere on the West side, you will want to change your trip.
Also understand that for the next few days there will be a lot of visitors being bussed out of Lahaina and making their way to the airport to return home. Most airlines have added extra flights or are bringing in bigger planes. So the airport may be a bit more crowded than normal.
If you are coming out and planning to stay in Kihei, Wailea or anywhere other than the West side, your accommodations are still in place and I’d recommend talking to the host or hotel management to confirm.
Currently the conditions are pretty clear on Maui, I don’t see any smoke, winds are light, the sun is rising and it looks like it is going to be a beautfiul day – weather wise.
Lahaina town, the West side and all the people of Maui will be going through some healing for a long time as we have lost a beloved part of our island. Please continue to send prayers and if you are coming out please respect the locals who are going through a difficult time. With that said, this is still the most beautiful place in the world and there’s nowhere I’d rather be.
I’ll update with more information as soon as it is available.
August 10, 2023 8:00am
We’ve heard a lot of reports and rumors yesterday that were inaccurate, so I want to make sure you have a good overview of what the island is like from someone who is living on it.
- Lahaina: Lahaina is destroyed. This is true. It will likely be years before it is rebuilt, probably at least a few days or weeks before tourist traffic is allowed to go through there.
- Kaanapali just north of Lahaina is unaffected as far as we know. Everything north of that (Honokowai, Kahana, Napili, Kapalua etc. is fine.
- Upcountry: There are fires that affected Kula area, but much of the fire up that way involves wildland and not structures.
- Kihei has had nothing significant within its district. The upcountry fires are seen from Kihei, but are not affecting Kihei or Wailea.
- The rest of the island is pretty open. The fires are limited to a few small areas. Sadly, they’ve done some damage to parts of Kula and have destroyed our beloved Lahaina town.
With that said, I woke up this morning to heavy rains and am praying that the rains continue and are helping contain and extinguish the fires that are still ongoing.
Because of the remoteness and the lack of accessibility for news outlets and others, we don’t have a great feel of the scope of the damage. There’s a lot of rumors, but be cautious on that.
All of our units and our house are unaffected.
The airport is a mess with people trying to get out, but again, we have not been affected in Kihei or most of the rest of the island.
We’ve driven down to Kihei and Wailea, into central Maui and gone upcountry (Paia, Makawao, Haiku) with no problems. Fires last night were much smaller than the previous night and affecting mostly uninhabited areas of the island. Winds have died down and helicopters can do water drops. We should have more information soon.