Maui Wildfires Continue to Burn; Visitation Strongly Discouraged

Wildfires on Maui have largely destroyed the town of Lahaina, a historic capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii and a popular tourist destination spot. Thousands of residents have evacuated their homes, while 36 have reportedly died as a result of the fires. The banyan tree that was imported to the island 150 years ago and sat along Front Street has been burned.

Making matters worse, strong winds by the nearby Hurricane Dora, a category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph, are fanning the flames.

According to an update late Wednesday night by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, “Visitors who are on non-essential travel are being asked to leave Maui and non-essential travel to Maui is strongly discouraged at this time. In the days and weeks ahead, our collective resources and attention must be focused on the recovery of residents and communities that were forced to evacuate their homes and businesses.

“Visitors who have travel plans to West Maui in the coming weeks are encouraged to consider rescheduling their travel plans for a later time.

“Visitors with travel plans to stay in other parts of Maui and the Mauna Kea Resort area of Hawaiʻi Island in the coming weeks are encouraged to contact their hotels for updated information and how their travel plans may be affected. Travel to Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi and other parts of Hawaiʻi Island are not affected at this time.”

A video taken by @lei_dubzz on Instagram and shared on Twitter by Colin McCarthy shows that "virtually all of downtown Lahaina has been burned down:"

Beyond Lahaina, Kihei and Upcountry Maui are also affected by the fires on the island. 

Maui’s Kahului Airport remains open but the tourism authority additionally suggests you contact your airline regarding any flight changes or cancelations, or for assistance with rebooking. Good to know: Hawaiian Airlines says it is continuing to operate flights to and from Maui’s Kahului Airport in support of essential travel; it has also added extra flights to focus on bringing guests out of Maui.


The Shops at Wailea will be a drop-off center for donations for all residents and visitors that have been affected by the Maui fires.

The Shops, through Friday, August 11, will accept non-perishable food, bottled water, hygiene items and blankets. Those wishing to donate should bring donated items to the following location within the center:

The Shops at Wailea, 3750 Wailea Alanui Drive
Location: Curbside, Makai Entry (near Doctor's on Call)
Time: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information, visit

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