Lahaina, Maui, fire videos show damage so severe that one pilot described it as looking like a “war zone.” That comment came from Pilot Richard Olsten to Hawaii News Now. He told the site, “It’s like … an area was bombed or just in like a war zone. It doesn’t even seem real. It’s just horrible.”
People posted videos that captured the fires as they raged through the streets.
One person, who goes by Bosco JR Rae on Facebook, posted a series of dramatic videos, including the one above, and wrote, “These are some videos I captured and thought were worth sharing.. We tried our best to save what we could, but were no match for Mother Nature. May we return and rebuild… Praying we havent lost everything.. Tried to stay and fight the fire, but it was too much and we decided to evacuate..”
Here’s another video from that page:
Olsten told Hawaii News Now that he saw about 200 destroyed structures. Aerial photos showed the scope of the damage.
Here’s what you need to know:
Hundreds of Homes Burned & 36 People Have Died as a Result of the Lahaina Fire
“Hundreds of families have been displaced, dozens of businesses have burned, 100s of homes burned, and 36 people have died so far. Many pets have also died,” an update on the Maui Information Guide website says. The Lahaina Town website refers people to that page for updates.
“Winds have finally died down, allowing for helicopters to assist in controlling the fires. Kahului Airport (OGG) is still open and has sheltered over 1,800 people,” the update says.
“Most schools are closed across the island. Maui and the Big Island have had some terrible fires since Tuesday evening. Please don’t unnecessarily drive around today on Maui. We need roads cleared for authorities and bus evacuations. Mass bus evacuations from the west side continue today for residents and visitors to Kahului to shelters and the airport for exit (over 11,000 left yesterday). Buses have been evacuating visitors from the west side in order to get them to Oahu.”
The Lahaina Town website says, “Lahaina is a location that is experienced by two million people, or approximately 80% percent of all of Maui tourism, per year. Lahaina has over a thousand years of rich history, and was the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii from 1820 to 1845. From beaches to restaurants, Lahaina has some of the best attractions Maui has to offer.”
A Famous Banyan Tree in Lahaina, Mauia, Was Charred But May Grow Back
The update revealed that a famous banyan tree is charred.
As of right now, traffic is prohibited into Lahaina and power is out almost everywhere on the west side. Traffic out of Lahaina via the bypass is allowed. Lahaina Harbor is gone, and the banyan tree is charred (it’s said that if the roots are healthy, it will likely grow back, but it looks burned). Much of Front Steet and Lahaina Town has burned, including at least some of Puamana. Many boats left and helped people to escape. The Coast Guard is reported as having saved people in the ocean trying to escape flames and smoke. Multiple fires are still burning in Lahaina. Launiupoko Estates was just ordered to evacuate and head to Maui Preparatory Academy for shelter.
On August 10, 2023, the Red Cross tweeted, “Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the tragic wildfires which continue to burn in Hawaii. Most of the fires on Maui are still burning, forcing thousands to evacuate. The Red Cross is there, working around the clock to help those affected.”
“Early this morning, Governor Green, M.D., reviewed and signed the State of Hawai`i’s major disaster declaration request which was transmitted to the White House for Presidential approval. Moments ago, @POTUS approved the declaration request,” Green tweeted on August 10, 2023.
NOAA Satellites tweeted, “Several #wildfires are burning across parts of Hawaii this week, fueled in part by strong winds from Hurricane Dora passing to the south. @NOAA’s GOESWest was tracking the hotspots and smoke from the fires as they burned across parts of Maui and the Big Island yesterday evening. The fires have destroyed buildings, caused power outages and forced thousands of residents to evacuate.”