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Hirono Statement Marking Six Months Since Maui Wildfires

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) released the following statement marking six months since devastating wildfires tore through Lahaina and Upcountry Maui:

“Six months after fires tore through Lahaina and Upcountry Maui, we continue to see the heart and resilience of our communities as we recover and remember the lives lost to this disaster. As recovery efforts continue, I am grateful to the thousands of people who have come together to support our neighbors on Maui. Since August 8, the federal government has sent more than 1,000 personnel to Maui to support recovery efforts, and has delivered more than $1.5 billion in recovery and relief funding to Maui, demonstrating the strong commitment to our communities. This is an important start, but we have to stay the course—Maui’s recovery will take time, resources, and a continuity of effort, and I will keep working with my partners at all levels of government to ensure Maui has the resources it needs to recover and rebuild, guided by the voices and values of the community.”

Senator Hirono is continuously working to secure and deliver robust federal assistance to those affected by the wildfire disaster on Maui. In November, Senator Hirono and the Hawaii Congressional delegation sent a letter urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to grant the Hawaii Department of Education the flexibility to provide all students on Maui with free school meals for at least the remainder of the 2023-2024 school year. Following advocacy led by Senator Hirono, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the extension of the application deadline for physical damage loans for those impacted by the Hawaii wildfires. That same month, the SBA also announced it was implementing a 6-month deferment period for Maui businesses impacted by the Hawaii wildfires, following another letter led by Senator Hirono. In October, Senator Hirono and the Hawaii Congressional delegation also introduced a resolution honoring the first responders and those who lost their lives in the devastating wildfires on Maui and expressing support for the communities of West and Upcountry Maui. In September, Senator Hirono and the rest of the Hawaii Congressional delegation sent a letter to Lieutenant General Scott Spellmon, the Chief of Engineers and commanding general of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, urging the Army Corps to provide the Hawaii Department of Education (HIDOE) with the resources and support it needs to build a school to temporarily replace Kamehameha III Elementary School as quickly as possible.