Maui wildfires – Lahaina

Condolences and praying for a healthy recovery


Wildfires, we know what they can do. In early May this year, Western Canada had its fair share of wildfires that destroyed thousand of hectares. As the wildfire season continued, it has thus far destroyed closed to 13.3million hectares to date. More info about Canada’s wildfire can be read here.

However, what i really wanted to do here is to send my condolences and prayer to the hopeful recovery of Lahaina, western Maui, as a devastating wildfire destroyed what was once the economic and tourist hub of Maui. I saw the news, 9th August 2023. It was Singapore’s national day and 8th August 2023 in Hawaii, almost a day behind us due to timezone. 

At first i thought, oh wildfire, it’s bad but usually not overwhelmingly affecting too much. Having spent 2 months in the United States over the summer season, it wasn’t uncommon to see smokes and fires sometimes breaking out in the middle of nowhere, either caused by negligence or by nature, say a lightning strike. I saw the Instagram reel and many of the Hawaiian businesses that i’ve followed sharing the news, and i knew it had to be something catastrophic. 

I googled more, check for more videos and slowly realised the extent of the damage it had caused to Maui, left me in gasps. Over these 2 days, i remembered fondly of my times in Hawaii, mainly Oahu, and a small part of Big Island. The joy it provided me, the friendly aloha spirit and the ever clear inviting waters. I wished i was there, so i could offered more help and resources like blankets etc, other than cash that could provide them with more immediate relief. 

Aerial view damage of Lahaina
Aerial view damage of the coast of Lahaina


Right now i am sourcing for reliable places to donate and likely will go with either one. These 2 are some of the native councils namely,  Ainamomona, hawaiiancouncil. For Hawaiian council (CNHA), they have a partnership with Kamehameha schools, Alaka’ina Foundation family of companies and  Kākoʻo Haleakalā to match up to $1,000,000 in community donations for ʻohana impacted by the devastating wildfires on Maui. 

What happen to Maui

I have not been to Maui, most of my time in Hawaii was spent in Oahu and a short period on Big Island to see the volcano erupt. However, i’ve heard many accounts of travelers who had been there, who love it so much, and was almost always a recommendation from them for us to visit again one day. 

For you guys, here’s a map of Hawaii, and it’s various island, that made up Hawaii. Oahu is the home of the state capital. Looking at the map, you can see Lahaina, where the most severe damage is done. To date, as i’m writing, the death toll continues to rise to 53, with billions of dollars needed right now for the island to rebuilt itself. The wildfire started on Tuesday (Hawaiian time) and became widespread, fuelled by winds from passing Hurricane Dora.

Here’s a live update from washingtonpost on the situation, if you would like to follow. 

Hawaii Overview
Hawaii Overview

What you can do now

Some of the things that could help them now are

  • Do not travel to Maui

If you were planning on traveling to Maui in the near future, CANCEL your trip. The devastation from the wildfires will have a lasting island-wide impact on Maui’s resources, and the community needs time to heal, grieve and restore.

  • Do not book a hotel stay. Survivors are priority now.

The American Hotel & Lodging Association and Hawaii Hotel Alliance are currently working with hotels in other parts of Hawaii to house displaced residents.

  • Do not fly to Maui

Hawaiian Airlines and Southwest Airlines are lowering prices so victims can evacuate off the island. It is not a time for you to book cheap flights for your vacation.

  • Donate, if you can

The residents of Maui needs your help. If you’ve ever been to Hawaii, wants to go, or simply wish to help, do consider donating instead.

Final words

I love Hawaii, it’s a place dear to my heart now after spending a month there. Let’s pray that Lahaina, Maui will recover steadily and the residents’ soul be filled with warmth and safety again. Stay strong Hawaiians, your people always have been.