2023 Hawaii Fires

One of the World’s Most Deadliest Fires on Record
2023 Hawaii Fires
Credit: CNN

On August 8th, 2023, a series of fires burned throughout the island of Maui. Located in Hawaii, Maui is a 727-square-mile island. A total of 97 people were killed by the smoke, flames, or drowning. Many others were injured as well and miles of land, especially the city of Lahina, were burned to ash. This makes this fire one of the world’s deadliest wildfires on record.

The fire began as a small bushfire on the outskirts of the town of Lahaina, Maui. With the high winds (due to Hurricane Dora which developed on the coast of Mexico) and the dry weather, the small fire spread very quickly, making it grow. Within 15 minutes the fire spread to the center of the town, melting water pipes and burning buildings. The fire department had trouble getting water to put out the raging fire due to the melted water pipes. 

Credit: WBNS 10TV

Many residents didn’t have enough time to evacuate – due to the traffic. So some ran to the ocean and jumped in, waiting several hours for rescue to come. Many residents lost their homes and family members. Soon the fire spread on gas pipes and cars, making huge bursts of flames and helping the spread. Maui issued an emergency declaration on the mid-afternoon of August 8. Maui was doomed.

During the morning of August 9th, the winds died down allowing firefighting crews, helicopters, and many other resources to make their way to Lahaina, Maui. By August 10, 80% of the fire had been extinguished and by August 14, the fire had completely been extinguished leaving burnt cars, buildings, pipes, trees, people, and more.

Credit: SWI

However, many other fires happened throughout the island of Maui during this period. These were not as bad though. Some of the other fires included the Pulehu/Kihei fire (at Maui’s central valley) and the Upcountry/Kula fire (on the slopes of Maui’s eastern peninsula).

Today, restoration, construction, and fixing efforts are still being made, trying to restore the island’s beautiful nature and towns. Residents live in shelters or hotels until their homes are rebuilt. The Federal Emergency Management Agency distributed 19 million dollars in aid to Maui. Organizations and volunteers spread out around the island to help the residents with financial aid, food aid, and mental health aid.   

Credit: WTNH
Credit: CNBC
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About the Contributor
Riya Shah
Riya Shah, Staff Writer
Riya is an 8th grader. Riya loves to write and is excited to be writing for Wred Feather. Riya participates in many clubs and sports. This includes Builders Club, Wredling Girls Basketball, Chess Club, Newspaper Club, Science Olympiad, etc. Outside of school, she does dance for over 7 years! Riya also loves traveling. She has been shark cage diving in Oahu, Hawaii, parasailing in Florida, ziplining in Tennessee, underwater scooter riding in Hawaii, open door helicopter ride in Kuai, Hawaii, dogsledding in Alaska, rafting in Canada, helicopter ride in Alaska, submarine rides in California, seeing the milky way, seeing lava from an active volcano in Hawaii, seeing the geysers of Yellowstone, and many more!

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  • J

    Jaxon SmithNov 16, 2023 at 8:10 pm

    Very powerful and emotional article. I was empowered though to hear people helped them. You are a very good writer and the description in which you wrote helped me imagine it clear as day. You are an excellent writer and you are very talented. Keep being amazing!

  • M

    Meghan CannonNov 14, 2023 at 7:21 pm

    So devastating. The images you featured shed light on the extent of the damage. Great reporting, Riya! Can’t wait to follow your #aroundtheworld tag in the editions to come.

  • Q

    Quinn HadleyNov 10, 2023 at 9:38 pm

    So incredible how you handle such a tough topic. Very well written!!

  • M

    Mr. LoverskyNov 10, 2023 at 5:21 pm

    Maui is one of my favorite places ever. I was so sad to see the devastation. Great job to Riya on this article!

  • H

    Haileigh PrillNov 10, 2023 at 8:58 am

    The amount of data in this really shows how much you researched! It was a great story!!