Headline RoundupAugust 14th, 2023

Maui Fires are Deadliest in US Since 1918

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Over 100 people are confirmed dead after wildfires devastated the village of Lahaina on the Hawaiian island of Maui.

Why So Deadly? The fires are the deadliest in the U.S. since 1918. Strong winds and months of drought reportedly helped the fires move especially quickly, and many local emergency sirens failed or weren't triggered, meaning the fires likely caught many residents off guard.

What's Next? Maui's police chief said Saturday that only 3% of the search area had been covered, and local officials are warning residents against returning too soon, as structures may be unstable and toxins likely remain. The fires caused an estimated $6 billion worth of damage, including over 2,000 buildings damaged or destroyed. Officials haven't yet announced whether they'll forgo tax revenue on properties that no longer exist; one source estimated that destroyed properties will amount to at least $40 million in lost tax revenue. One Hawaiian couple is suing Hawaiian Electric Industries, saying they "inexcusably kept their power lines energized during forecasted high fire danger conditions."

How the Media Covered It: The recovery and toll were a top story across the spectrum Monday, especially from left- and center-rated sources. Left-rated outlets were more likely to mention potential climate change angles in their coverage.

Featured Coverage of this Story

More headline roundups

AllSides Picks

More News about Environment from the Left, Center and Right

From the Left

From the Center

From the Right