Ignored warnings, hubris, slow response fueled America's deadliest wildfire in a century

August 21, 2023

A burned-out car lies in the driveway of charred apartment complex in the aftermath of a wildfire in Lahaina, Hawaii. (Agustin Tabares / Associated Press)Maui County officials recognized the wildfire risks — but it appears little was done to prepare, records and interviews show. Then it exploded with lethal forceThe Maui County Hazard Mitigation Plan warns of past windstorms, including a prior record in Maui of 83 mph. Smoke blows across the slope of Haleakala volcano on Maui, Hawaii, as a fire burns in Maui's upcountry region on Aug. 8. Many hours passed between the Maui fire's first ignition and a period of quiet when fire crews deemed the blaze "100% contained."