HONOLULUAug. 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Wildfires have resulted in the evacuations of thousands of residents and visitors, and multiple closures of major roadways on Maui.

The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) 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.

Visitors Urged to Forego Travel Plans to West Maui

Vacation travel to West Maui is strongly discouraged for the near future. Visitors in West Maui have largely heeded the call to leave the island. About 46,000 people have flown out of Kahului Airport since Wednesday.

In the weeks ahead, the collective resources and attention of the federal, state and county government, the West Maui community, and the travel industry must be focused on the recovery of residents who were forced to evacuate their homes and businesses.

Visitors with plans to stay in West Maui in the coming weeks and months are urged to consider rescheduling their travel plans for a later time when the overall situation has improved for area residents.

Hotels in West Maui have temporarily stopped accepting bookings of future reservations. At this time, many hotels are housing their employees and families until the fires in West Maui are fully contained and travel on the roadways is safe. These same hotels are preparing to house evacuees and first responders working on disaster recovery.

While efforts are underway to restore basic services, like power and communications, visitors are encouraged to refrain from attempting to reach West Maui accommodations for reservation adjustments until the situation improves.

Travel to the other Hawaiian Islands, like Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Lānaʻi, and Hawaiʻi Island, are not affected at this time.

Access Restrictions In Lāhainā

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 public.

Visitors leaving West Maui, or needing to pass by Lāhainā to pick up their belongings, are reminded to comply with the protocols established by law enforcement and Maui County officials. There is no access into the restricted zones of historic Lāhainā town until the hazardous conditions improve.

For updates, visit the County of Maui website: www.mauicounty.gov/.

Assistance Center to Relocate to Ke’ehi Lagoon

The Assistance Center at the Hawai’i Convention Center will close at noon Sunday, August 13, and be relocated to the Keʻehi Lagoon Memorial at 2685 N. Nimitz Highway in Honolulu.

Operated in partnership with the American Red Cross to support those evacuated from Maui due to the wildfires, the Assistance Center has served nearly 300 evacuees since the facility opened on August 9. Evacuees have been provided with temporary accommodations until they are able to board flights to return home or secure their own hotel lodging. Water and food have been provided to the evacuees, as well as showers, toiletries and clothes, if needed, all free of charge.

The American Red Cross will continue to offer these same services to Maui evacuees at Ke’ehi Lagoon Memorial. Shuttles offering free transportation from the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport to Keʻehi Lagoon Memorial will be running throughout the day and can be found outside of baggage claim 9 and baggage claim 20 at the 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, please consider making financial rather than physical donations.

Hotels, vacation rental owners, and anyone with available space to temporarily house displaced Maui residents are encouraged to make those accommodations available. The state is setting up programs to make those connections. See the latest at MauiStrong.hawaii.gov.

The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority will continue to provide updates and answers to frequently asked questions on our website.

SOURCE Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau

PICTURE SOURCE Big Island Now

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