Three weeks after a massive fire ravaged parts of Maui, military forces continue their rescue and recovery operations. The Department of Defense has deployed 572 personnel as part of Joint Task Force 5-0, assisting in multiple capacities from supplying water to finding missing persons. Despite criticisms of slow response, U.S. Army Col. David Fielder insists the military’s actions have been timely and based on local and state requirements. The death toll is currently at 155, but over 200 people are still unaccounted for.
- The devastating fire in Maui started on August 8, with one of the most impacted areas being the town of Lahaina, exacerbated by drought conditions.
- Joint Task Force 5-0, involving 572 Department of Defense personnel (up from 400 a week ago) and members of the U.S. Coast Guard, is actively engaged in rescue and recovery efforts on the island.
- U.S. Army Col. David Fielder addressed criticisms of the Pentagon’s response speed, emphasizing cooperation with local and state authorities.
- The official death toll is 155, but more than 200 individuals remain missing. The FBI has confirmed 100 out of 388 previously reported missing persons as safe.
- Military resources include a forensics lab for identifying remains, Navy divers searching offshore, and aircraft, such as the U.S. Army Chinook CH-47, aiding in firefighting efforts.