100th victim of Maui fires identified

The County of Maui recently announced the island has moved into phase II of clean-up. Debris from more than 2,000 properties is being removed to a dump site in Olowalu. Local officials have said the site will be temporary.

LAHAINA, Hawaii – Police have announced that the 100th victim of the devastating fires that tore through Maui has been identified, marking a grim milestone in one of the country’s deadliest wildfires.

The Maui Police Department announced on Friday that it had notified the next of kin of 70-year-old Lydia Coloma of Lahaina.

Coloma was one of several family members killed when flames overtook much of Lahaina on Aug. 8.

"Our hearts go out to the families, friends and community affected by this devastating event," Maui police stated.

The identification process has been slow as DNA technology was needed to positively identify many of the victims.


With the removal of Coloma from the missing persons list, three individuals remain unaccounted for on Maui.

According to the Maui Police Department, they are Paul Kasprysycki (76), Robert H. Owens (65) and Elmer Lee Stevens (73).

Nearly half of the 100 killed by the fires were over the age of 70.

The FBI encourages anyone who may have information on their whereabouts or know of other victims to contact them at www.fbi.gov/MauiFires.


Lahaina rebuilding process slow

A multiphase clean-up project is underway, but similar to the response to the initial fires, the reaction has been mixed.

More than 5,400 people remain in hotel rooms as the county begins phase II of the cleanup process.

The County of Maui estimated that more than 2,000 properties will require debris removal, much of which will end up at a dump site in Olowalu.

The site is located south of Lahaina along Maui’s west coast and is close to the Olowalu Reef.

Nearly 9,000 people have signed a petition expressing their displeasure with the decision to move debris to the site.

Residents claim the debris has elevated levels of arsenic, lead, antimony, cobalt and copper, which create health risks and environmental concerns.

Maui Mayor Richard Bissen has contended that Olowalu will be just a temporary site until a more permanent solution can be found.

"We appreciate the hard work of our public works crews, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and contractors. As operations increase in the coming days, there will be teams conducting debris removal on multiple properties at the same time. Everyone is working hard on this cleanup process to help Lahaina residents and landowners return to their properties," Bissen stated.

The Hawaiʻi Department of Health said it has deployed real-time air monitors to both Lahaina and Olowalu to ensure recovery activities do not significantly impact air quality.