What travellers need to know and how you can help Maui after the devastating wildfires
Maui Wildfires Update
August 15, 2023
UPDATED: August 15, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. HST
Wildfires have resulted in the evacuations of thousands of residents and visitors, and multiple closures of major roadways on Maui.
The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority is in continuous communication with state and county emergency management officials, as well as our Global Marketing Team and visitor industry partners, to monitor this situation and will provide updates.
Throughout this crisis, HTA will be providing communication updates to our travel partners – airlines, accommodations, ground transportation companies, activity providers, travel agents, and wholesalers, as well as to local and national media – to ensure the public is kept informed about travel to Maui.
GOVERNOR GREEN URGES VISITORS TO FOREGO TRAVEL TO WEST MAUI
All non-essential travel to West Maui (including Lāhainā, Nāpili, Kāʻanapali, and Kapalua) is strongly discouraged through the month of August, Governor Josh Green said in his August 13 emergency proclamation. Hotels in West Maui have temporarily stopped accepting bookings of future reservations.
The travel industry is focused on supporting residents who lost loved ones, homes, their belongings, and businesses. Part of this islandwide recovery is ensuring that Maui residents who would like to continue working can do so.
Other areas of Maui (including Kahului, Wailuku, Kīhei, Wailea, Mākena, and Hāna), and the other Hawaiian Islands, like Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Lānaʻi, and Hawaiʻi Island remain open. We urge visitors to be especially mindful and respectful in our island home as our community continues through this tragedy.
WEST MAUI HOTELS TO HOUSE EVACUEES, DISASTER WORKERS
At this time, hotels in West Maui have temporarily stopped accepting bookings of future reservations and are housing their employees and families, evacuees, and first responders working on disaster recovery – well over 1,000 people so far with more to come. More information on efforts to house evacuees can be found at mauistrong.hawaii.gov.
VACATION RENTAL OWNERS AND OPERATORS, PROPERTY OWNERS WITH AVAILABLE SPACE URGED TO LIST UNITS FOR EVACUEES
Vacation rental owners, as well as anyone with available space, are encouraged to make these accommodations available to temporarily house displaced West Maui residents. The state has set up a referral program to make those connections possible to support West Maui residents in need of housing. Learn more, offer your space, or look for housing at the Fire Relief Housing Program website. A call center is also available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily at 808-587-0469, or email email@example.com.
Airbnb.org has also announced an initiative to provide free, temporary stays to 1,000 people through its network of hosts. Details of that program will be announced in the coming days.
ACCESS RESTRICTIONS IN WEST MAUI
The devastation in Lāhainā is immense and unprecedented. The extent of the damage affecting residents, families and area businesses has yet to be fully understood. Experts have warned that hazardous materials are likely present. The area most affected by the wildfires is off limits to the general public, and we urge visitors to refrain from traveling to West Maui at this time. For updates, visit the County of Maui website: www.mauicounty.gov.
ASSISTANCE CENTER AT KE‘EHI LAGOON TO CLOSE, AUGUST 16
The Assistance Center at the Keʻehi Lagoon Memorial Hall in Honolulu will close at 12:00 p.m. HST on Wednesday, August 16.
Operated in partnership with HTA and the American Red Cross to support those evacuated from Maui due to the wildfires, the Assistance Center has served nearly 300 visitors and residents since the facility opened at the Hawai‘i Convention Center on August 9. The facility was recently relocated to Ke‘ehi Lagoon.
Evacuees were provided with temporary accommodations until they were able to board flights to return home or secure their own lodging. Water and food was also provided to the evacuees, as well as showers, toiletries and clothes, as needed, all free of charge.
Shuttles offering free transportation from the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport to the Keʻehi Lagoon Memorial Hall are running throughout the day and can be found outside of baggage claim 9 and baggage claim 20 at the airport.
AIRLINE CANCELLATION & CHANGE POLICIES
Due to the wildfires and their impact on people’s travel plans, the major U.S. airlines serving Kahului Airport have implemented flexible travel policies for changing or canceling flights. For specific information check with your airline. The U.S. Department of Transportation has posted a page with links to the major carriers serving Kahului Airport.
HOW TO HELP
Anyone wanting to make donations to help communities and families recover on Maui can do so through the Maui Strong Fund established by the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation. The link can be accessed here.
Due to capacity limitations in the system, please consider making financial rather than physical donations.
Q: Which of the Hawaiian Islands are affected by the wildfires?
A: Wildfires have mainly affected Lāhainā in West Maui. All non-essential travel to West Maui (including Lāhainā, Nāpili, Kāʻanapali, and Kapalua) is strongly discouraged through the month of August, according to Governor Josh Green’s August 13 emergency proclamation. Hotels in West Maui have temporarily stopped accepting bookings of future reservations as they are housing their employees and families, evacuees, and first responders.
Other areas on Maui (including Kahului, Wailuku, Kīhei, Wailea, Mākena, and Hāna) and the islands of Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Lānaʻi, and Hawai‘i Island remain unaffected. We urge visitors to be especially mindful and respectful in our island home as our community continues through this tragedy.
Q: If I have a scheduled trip to Maui in the next few weeks, should I postpone my vacation?
A: Beyond West Maui, other areas on the island (including Kahului, Wailuku, Kīhei, Wailea, Mākena, and Hāna), as well as the other Hawaiian Islands, like Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Lānaʻi, and Hawaiʻi Island remain open. Non-essential travel to West Maui (including Lāhainā, Nāpili, Kāʻanapali, and Kapalua) is strongly discouraged through the month of August.
Q: If I’m on Maui, should I head to the airport without a confirmed flight?
A: While Kahului Airport remains open at this time, it is strongly suggested that travelers check with their airline for any flight changes or cancellations, or for assistance with rebooking.
Q: If I am on Maui and in need of medical assistance, who can I contact?
A: Please text 9-1-1 if you are in need of medical assistance.
Q: I can’t get in touch with my family members who are vacationing on Maui. Who can I contact to obtain more information?
A: For family reunification, please contact Maui Emergency Management Agency at (808) 270-7285 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, visit MauiStrong.hawaii.gov for the latest general information.
Q: Where can people find the latest information and updates on the situation?
A: Official channels are the best sources for the latest updates, including the following:
- Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency: MauiStrong.hawaii.gov
- Maui County Emergency Management Agency: https://www.mauicounty.gov
Keep checking the following for regular updates: https://www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/news/alerts/maui-and-hawai%CA%BBi-island-wildfire-update/
HOW TO DONATE:
Hawai‘i Community Foundation
Donate to the Maui Strong Fund
The Maui Strong Fund is providing financial resources that can be deployed quickly, with a focus on rapid response and recovery for the devastating wildfires on Maui.
HCF is working in close collaboration with state and county leaders, nonprofit organizations, and community members to get an understanding of the quickly evolving priorities.
Funding will support evolving needs, including shelter, food, financial assistance, and other services as identified by our partners doing critical work on Maui. As of August 15, 2023, $34,168,356 has been raised.
To donate visit: