Maui Fire

The Maui Fires: August 8-11, 2023

The Maui Fire was a series of wildfires that burned parts of the island of Maui in the U.S. state of Hawaii in August 2023. This disaster is the worst in Hawaii’s history, surpassing the tsunami of 1960; it is the deadliest wildfire in 100 years and surpassed the Camp Fire in Paradise, California in 2018.

The fires, which began on Tuesday, August 8, struck hardest the historic resort town of Lahaina, on Maui’s western peninsula, reducing most of the town to ash and ruins. The upcountry community of Kula was also affected and lost approximately 19 homes.

Strong winds from Hurricane Dora fanned the fires, a Category 4 storm which passed south of Hawaii on August 8th and prevented aircraft from flying over the town during the fire. The fires were not average wildfires, able to be controlled once the winds took over and houses became the fuel. Then these fires became megafires, defined as being over 100K acres OR having an outsized impact on the community and built environment.

In December of 2023, After the Fire CEO Jennifer Gray Thompson led a delegation to Lahaina to discuss post- disaster recovery strategies and to provide advice and support to the affected communities of Maui, Hawaii. It is the first visit to Hawaii for After the Fire and the four-month post-fire timing of this visit was intended to allow the affected community some time to recover before receiving this delegation.

After the Fire’s goal for this delegation was to learn from Lahaina Fire survivors about the event, provide recommendations for what worked and what didn’t in recent mega fires on the mainland, rebuild, to help bring communities together to achieve their individual goals in recovery, and to establish a leadership network across state lines. Members of the After the Fire delegation have experienced and recovered from devastating fires, similar to the survivors of the Lahaina Fire. This knowledge transfer builds a conduit for information on the recovery process between both parties.

 

After Action Reports

After The Fire USA is honored to present our After Action reports, providing valuable insights, perspectives, and recommendations following our delegations to Maui. While the primary audience for these reports is the people of Maui and the organizations serving this community, we have strived to make them accessible and informative for external stakeholders unfamiliar with the nuances of Maui's recovery process. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to the resilient people of Maui for their trust and hospitality during this vulnerable period. As one delegate aptly expressed, "Maui belongs to the people of Maui first and foremost," a sentiment we hold with utmost respect and humility.

 

December Delegation After Action Report

February Delegation After Action Report