Hawaii’s wildfires are the most deadly in history, taking the lives of at least 96 people as of Monday.
The death toll is expected to rise as searches continue throughout the Lahaina area of Maui, which have been hampered by extreme heat throughout the area, according to The Washington Post. Trained K-9 units are finding it difficult to search through the rubble due to the conditions.
“This is the largest natural disaster we’ve ever experienced,” Democratic Hawaii Gov. Josh Green said Saturday, according to AccuWeather. “It’s going to also be a natural disaster that’s going to take an incredible amount of time to recover from.”
— Chris 🇺🇸 (@Chris_1791) August 10, 2023
The wildfires erupted on Aug. 8 and ripped through many parts of Hawaii, including a deeply historical neighborhood on Maui, which was largely untouched by modern developers prior to this disaster. Thousands of people have been displaced, and it’s unclear how many are still missing throughout the island.
Less than 3% of the destruction zone was searched as of Saturday, AccuWeather noted. Firefighters are continuing to battle three different active fires, including the one at Lahaina. (RELATED: Officials Warn Wildfire Smoke May Last Through September In US)
Hawaii Electric, which provides 95% of all the state’s power, is facing mass scrutiny for refusing to shut down its systems as the wildfires broke out across Maui. Turning off the fuel source that keeps fires rampant was apparently part of an effective strategy known to the company, but it was not enacted, WaPo noted.