PHOTO GALLERY: A look at Lahaina in the 6 months since a wildfire destroyed the Maui town

Feb 8, 2024, 2:43 PM

LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) — It’s been six months since a wildfire leveled most of Lahaina, a centuries-old town on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Authorities say 100 people were killed and three are still missing from the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century.

Nearly 5,000 residents who lost their homes in the blaze are still living in hotels. An acute housing shortage on Maui means they can’t find places to live, even with rental assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency or private charities.

Gov. Josh Green is pushing owners of Maui’s many vacation rentals to house displaced Lahaina residents so all evacuees can move into long-term housing by March 1. He’s also proposed a “tax amnesty” to encourage vacation rental owners to rent to residents. Maui County has adopted tax incentives with the same aim.

“The lack of stable housing has obviously been a very major source of anxiety for our displaced residents, especially for our families with children,” Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen said at a news conference Thursday.

Bissen said housing issues have compounded the trauma of the fire for many residents and led to depression. He said mental health counseling was available at no cost.

Maui’s economy heavily depends on tourists, who have returned to the Lahaina area though some workers have struggled to attend to them while recovering from the disaster. Longer term, some worry that a redeveloped Lahaina will be too expensive for many Native Hawaiians and local-born residents and that they may have to leave their hometown.

Authorities are still studying what sparked the fire but an AP investigation found it may have started in an overgrown gully beneath Hawaiian Electric Co. power lines. Hurricane-force winds, severe drought and invasive grasses combined to fuel the blaze. Scientists say climate change is increasing the likelihood of extreme weather events of the kind that fed the inferno.

United States News

Associated Press

High school president writes notes thanking fellow seniors — 180 of them

Emily Post would be proud. A high school class president in Massachusetts who gave a commencement speech wanted to recognize all of his fellow graduates. So he wrote them personal thank-you notes presented at the ceremony — 180 to be exact. “I wish I could’ve acknowledged you all, but there was simply not enough time,” […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

AP-NORC poll: About half of US adults approve of Trump’s conviction, but views of him remain stable

NEW YORK (AP) — About half of U.S. adults approve of Donald Trump’s recent felony conviction, according to a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The survey shows some potential vulnerabilities, along with some signs of resilience in his support, as Trump tries to become the first American with a felony […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Judge faces inquiry after Illinois attorney was kicked out of court and handcuffed to chair

CHICAGO (AP) — Cook County’s top judge has asked state regulators to review allegations that an attorney was handcuffed to a chair after a judge kicked him out of her courtroom. Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans referred misconduct allegations against Judge Kathy Flanagan to the state Judicial Inquiry Board on Friday, the Chicago Sun-Times […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

One of several South Dakota baseball players charged in rape case pleads guilty to lesser felony

MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) — One of the several former players on an American Legion baseball team in South Dakota charged last year with rape has pleaded guilty to a lesser felony. The 19-year-old former Mitchell player pleaded guilty to one count of accessory to a felony, according to court documents cited by KELO-TV on Tuesday. […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Biden and Zelenskyy will sign a security agreement between the US and Ukraine when they meet at G7

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (AP) — President Joe Biden and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will sign a bilateral security agreement between the U.S. and Ukraine on Thursday when they meet on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit in Italy, aiming to send a signal to Russia of American resolve in supporting Kyiv, the White […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Stock market today: Wall Street rallies with bitcoin and gold after inflation unexpectedly slows

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are jumping amid a worldwide rally Wednesday following a surprisingly encouraging update on inflation. The S&P 500 was 1.1% higher in afternoon trading and on track to add to its all-time high set a day earlier. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 57 points, or 0.2%, as of […]

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

PHOTO GALLERY: A look at Lahaina in the 6 months since a wildfire destroyed the Maui town