Hawaii Wildfires: Fast Facts

Fast-moving wildfires in Hawaii have taken lives, devastated communities, and forced thousands to flee. Get the facts about the Hawaii wildfires and learn how you can help survivors through community-led relief efforts.


1. The Maui wildfires are the deadliest in modern US history.

The death toll from the Maui fires is at least 115. Officials warn that the number could rise as search and rescue efforts continue. About 388 people are still missing.

The wildfires are burning on Maui and the island of Hawaii, known as the Big Island. Flames have consumed homes and buildings and forced people into the ocean to seek safety.

The wildfires are the largest disaster in the state’s history. The Maui fires are the deadliest in the US in more than a century, followed by California’s 2018 Camp fire, which killed 85 people.
Source: The Associated Press + The Washington Post

Support community-led recovery with a donation to GlobalGiving’s Hawaii Wildfire Relief Fund.


2. More than 30,000 people fled in the wake of the Maui fire.

Thousands of people were evacuated from Maui last week. Those who remained faced widespread power and phone service outages. Hawaiian Electric said it had restored electricity to 80% of its customers on Maui. The utility is facing a lawsuit that alleges its power lines, downed by high winds, caused the devastating Lahaina wildfire.
Source: The Washington Post + The New York Times

3. The fires are threatening entire communities and their history.

The blaze tore through and destroyed 80% of the seaside town of Lahaina in Maui County. Beloved cultural landmarks burned, along with businesses, and a banyan tree—thought to be the United States’ largest—in the spot where King Kamehameha’s first palace stood. The damage is estimated at $5.6 billion.

Lahaina is one of the most historic cities in Hawaii and was the capital of the former Kingdom of Hawaii. The Lahaina Historic District includes more than 60 historic sites.

The destruction is a painful loss to Native Hawaiian history and culture and is expected to have a long-term economic impact on communities in the area.
Source: The Associated Press + NBC News

Support community-led recovery with a donation to GlobalGiving’s Hawaii Wildfire Relief Fund.


4. The climate crisis is making wildfires and other extreme weather events more likely.

The Hawaiian islands have been affected by drought for months, with more than a third of Maui County experiencing drought at the beginning of August.

These dry conditions along with powerful winds connected to Hurricane Dora ignited the Maui fires, and weather patterns caused them to spread quickly.

Experts say human-caused climate change is making extreme weather events like the Maui wildfires more frequent and more severe.
Source: NPR + The Washington Post

5. GlobalGiving partners are already on the ground helping survivors access food, shelter, and other emergency services.

GlobalGiving’s Disaster Response Team is working with responding partners to meet the immediate needs of Maui wildfire survivors and first responders. GlobalGiving partners are already providing food, water, and shelter. Once urgent needs are met, the GlobalGiving Hawaii Wildfire Relief Fund will transition to support community-led, long-term recovery efforts as needed.
Source: GlobalGiving Hawaii Wildfire Relief Fund

6. Cash is the best way to help people in need during a disaster like the Maui fire.

Why? Survivors’ needs vary greatly throughout the life cycle of recovery. Some will require financial support, medical care, and psychological assistance years down the road. You can learn more about the importance of cash donations in this infographic.
Source: GlobalGiving + USAID Center for International Disaster Information

Help communities hit hardest by the Hawaii wildfires through GlobalGiving and fuel community-led recovery.


Featured Photo: Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources wildland firefighting crew on Maui battle a fire in Kula, Hawaii, on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023 by Matthew Thayer/The Maui News via Associated Press

Note: This article was originally published at 2:29 p.m. on Aug. 10, 2023, and last updated at 4:40 p.m. on Aug. 25, 2023.

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