Re-entry Update: Find Lahaina zones that have re-opened. Re-entry for Kula has completed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Lahaina Re-entry

What is re-entry?

Re-entry is the process of supporting Lahaina fire-impacted property owners and residents, including renters, so they can have assistance when returning to their homes. For the Lahaina zone map with streets and addresses, please visit www.mauirecovers.org.

What are re-entry zones?

Zones have been created to facilitate a systematic and organized return to the Lahaina Wildfire Disaster Area while prioritizing public safety and the security of the community. Ahead of re-entry, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) household hazardous material removal must be completed in each zone. Household hazardous material includes paint, solvents, fertilizers, cleaning solutions, propane tanks and other items.

Who can access zones that have been cleared for re-entry?

Re-entry is for those who have a direct legal affiliation to the property: owners and residents, including tenants (renters). Property owners and residents/tenants may bring others: insurance agents, family members, friends and faith, spiritual and/or health support persons. Following the two days of supported re-entry, owners and renters may continue to access properties from 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. seven days a week. Local Traffic Only signs will be posted.

Should keiki or pregnant people visit the property?

While you may want to include all family members in the delicate, sensitive return to your property, health officials recommend that children and pregnant people should not enter the impacted area or help with cleanup because they are at higher risk from debris hazards. After leaving the impacted area, it is also best practice to shower before being in contact with sensitive groups like keiki, pregnant people, people with asthma or COPD, and kupuna. For environmental and hazard concerns, visit https://health.hawaii.gov/mauiwildfires.

What are the safety risks of re-entry?

The impacted area and its surroundings are hazardous with unstable structures, sharp metal objects and ash with potentially toxic substances. Preliminary air sampling and air monitoring conducted in Lāhainā do not show evidence of poor air quality or any hazardous levels of contaminants in the air at the time the samples were collected. For full details on reducing exposure to ash and hazardous materials when returning to the Lahaina Wildfire Disaster Area, view the DOH handout, “Take Precautions When Temporarily Entering the Impacted Area: For Maui Residents Impacted by Wildfires.” Also, the County of Maui Water Department Unsafe Water Advisory remains in effect for many parts of Lahaina. 

When will I be able to access my property in the Lahaina Wildfire Disaster Area?

The County of Maui will notify people that restrictions have been lifted in certain areas, or zones, through news releases, social media including Instagram and Facebook pages, and on the county’s recovery website: www.MauiRecovers.org

Who can apply for a re-entry vehicle pass?

Only property owners, residents/tenants of the property in the re-entry zone can apply for a vehicle pass. Vehicle passes will not be issued to the general public or anyone not legally affiliated with the property as the owner or tenant. 

How do I apply for a re-entry vehicle pass?

Applications will only be processed for the specific re-entry zones announced and not for the entire fire-impacted area. Applicants should bring proof of ID and documentation of property ownership, occupancy or tenancy, such as a utility bill, rental agreement, property tax statement, etc.  Much of this information may have been previously provided to other agencies, such as the American Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Agency and those agencies will be assisting with pass registrations. For more details, visit www.mauirecovers.org.

Do I have to wait for my zone to be announced to apply for/pick up a vehicle pass?

Yes. Vehicle passes are available for announced re-entry zones only.

How many vehicle passes can I get?

Two vehicle passes will be available per property owner, and two vehicle passes will be available per rental dwelling.

What can I expect during the first two days of re-entry in my zone?

A high level of support will be offered when you re-enter your property, including water, shade, washing stations, portable toilets, medical and mental health care, MauiBus transportation from nearby hotel shelters and language assistance.

Who can I bring with me when I visit my property once my zone is open?

When you visit your property, you may bring anyone you choose. Consider your emotional needs, practical requirements and the well-being of your neighbors and the environment as you make your decision. There are no restrictions on who you can bring. However, you may want to consider the following:

1. Supportive Companions: It can be emotionally challenging to return to your property after a significant event like a fire. Bringing a relative, friend or clergy member can provide emotional support and comfort.

2. Insurance Agent: If you're working through insurance claims or need to assess the damage for insurance purposes, having your insurance agent with you can be beneficial. They can help document the extent of the damage and provide guidance on the claims process.

3. Compassion for Others: While there are no restrictions on the number of people you can bring, it's important to be mindful of your neighbors who may also be dealing with the aftermath of the fire. Keeping the group size reasonable out of compassion for your neighbors can help maintain a respectful and considerate atmosphere.

4. Environmental Consideration: Additionally, for the sake of the land and the environment, it's advisable to limit the number of people you bring to your property. This can help reduce the impact on the area as it begins its recovery process.

Can I let someone else use my pass? Do I have to use the same vehicle every time I enter my zone?

Your vehicle pass is tied to your identity as the property owner, and it's essential that the driver's license matches the name on the pass. This ensures security and proper access to your designated zone. However, you have the flexibility to use different vehicles when entering, as long as you are the pass holder. 

What personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided?

PPE items have been donated, and kits are being assembled by local volunteer organizations. These kits will be made available when people register for entry passes. Visitors to the area should wear sturdy boots or other closed-toe shoes (no slippers) with thick soles, and eye protection. Adults should use the materials provided in the Re-Entry kit or similar forms of protective gear, including face masks, goggles and gloves, long sleeves, pants, socks, and shoes (including disposable shoe coverings) to avoid skin contact with ash. Cloth masks will not protect you from ash. Instead, state DOH recommends wearing a tight-fitting respirator or mask – look for words NIOSH or N95 printed on the mask. Remember, no mask is effective unless it fits and is worn properly.

What is the Lahaina Wildfire Disaster Area?

The Lahaina Wildfire Disaster Area holds hazardous debris and includes the area delineated by government-placed barriers. This area was determined by Mayor Richard Bissen’s Third Emergency Proclamation Relating to Wildfires effective Aug. 15. Entry into the Lahaina Wildfire Disaster area remains prohibited unless authorized by law, due to health and safety risks and to protect against criminal property damage. Properties damaged by fire and by wind in this and other Maui areas may be eligible for FEMA assistance.

What do I need to prove residency or ownership of my property, to get a re-entry Vehicle Pass?

  • Property Deed or Title: A property deed or title in your name is one of the most direct ways to demonstrate ownership. This document should clearly show your name as the property owner.
  • Utility Bills: Utility bills such as electricity, water, or gas bills that are addressed to your name at the property address can serve as proof of residency. These bills should be recent and show consistent usage.
  • Property Tax Records: Property tax records from the County’s RPT office that list you as the property owner are strong evidence of ownership.  Visit: www.mauipropertytax.com 
  • Lease Agreement: If you have been renting, a lease agreement with your name, the landlord's name, and the property address can establish your residency.
  • Hawaii Driver's License: A valid Hawaii driver's license with your current address is a widely accepted proof of residency.
  • Vehicle Registration: If your vehicle is registered at the property address, it can indicate your residency.
  • Voter Registration: A voter registration card listing your address in Lahaina can be used to confirm your residency.
  • Financial Statements: Financial statements sent to your Lahaina address can help establish residency, especially if they cover an extended period. Driver’s license or identification card, Tax records or financial statements, Voter registration or court documents, Vehicle registration form, Employment agency registration or pay stubs or checks)
  • Insurance Documents: Homeowner's or renter's insurance policies with your Lahaina address can be used as proof of residency.
  • Notarized Affidavit: In some cases, a notarized affidavit from a property owner or landlord confirming your residency or ownership may be accepted.

Drinking Water

Is our water safe to drink?

Unsafe Water Advisories issued by the County of Maui Department of Water Supply are still in effect for the following areas:

  • Upper Kula 
  • Lahaina 

An interactive map is available and depicts the precise location of the Unsafe Water Advisories.

Updates to advisories will be provided based on monitoring results.

What are VOCs?

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemicals that easily evaporate into the air. Examples of common VOCs include benzene, toluene, trichloroethylene (TCE), and perchloroethylene (PCE). VOCs are commonly used in consumer products (e.g., plastics, paints, cleaning products, adhesives) and can be released from building materials (e.g., carpet, linoleum, composite wood products, insulation). They can also be released into the environment in smoke from wildfires, building fires, and the burning of wood, oil, or gas. Review a VOC fact sheet for additional information.

Does the EPA regulate VOCs in household products?

Yes.

Does reverse osmosis remove VOCs?

By itself, the reverse osmosis process cannot take out VOCs. The VOCs will pass through the membrane just like oxygen does. Reverse osmosis systems will only take out VOCs, if they have a carbon pre-filter or post-filter. Contact the manufacturer for specific capacities of your system. Keep in mind that filtration systems require regular maintenance/preventative maintenance in order to work properly.

Are VOCs dangerous?

It is difficult to generalize the dangers of waterborne VOCs because there are so many different variations of them. Furthermore, there has not been extensive testing done to determine the health risks posed by many of the household products that release VOCs. But, there is evidence exposure to VOCs has negative side effects. According to the EPA, volatile organic compounds are associated with irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, loss of coordination, and nausea. Prolonged exposure can cause damage to the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system. Whether or not they are carcinogenic is still contested. Some organics have manifested as cancerous in animals, and there are some that are suspected to cause cancer in human beings.

What do the drinking water sample test result terms mean?

  • Method Detection Limit: refers to a minimum concentration of an analyte that can be measured above the instrument background noise. 
  • Reporting Limit: the minimum level above which an analyte can be detected and quantified with statistical confidence.
  • Instrument background noise: Instruments have detectors that convert any target analyte entering the detector into an electrical signal that can be measured. Using a calibration curve, this signal can be converted into a concentration. Instrument noise is due to the normal, random generation of electrical signal from sources other than the target analyte. Some causes are radiation, magnetic fields, loose connections or static. They have nothing to do with the specific sample being analyzed.
  • MCL: The maximum concentration level or (MCL) is the maximum concentration of a chemical that is allowed in public drinking water systems. The MCL is established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • μg/L: The symbol μg = microgram. One microgram is one millionth of a gram and one thousandth of a milligram. So if the MCL reads 2 μg/L that is 2 micrograms per liter. It is also referred to as parts per billion (ppb). 
  • ND: not detected.

How will the Department of Water Supply decide how and when to lift the unsafe water advisory?

The decision to lift the advisory will be made based on multiple lines of evidence to include but not limited to:

  • Water Quality Sampling/Testing
  • Water Hydraulics
  • Flushing
  • Elevation
  • Data Analysis

What are the County’s next steps?

The Department of Water Supply will:

  • Continue to update as evidence suggests;
  • Continue water quality sampling/testing;
  • Monitor the system once the advisory is lifted through future sampling/testing;
  • Release those future test results to the public

What should people do in the meantime till water is deemed safe?

Failure to follow this advisory could result in illness. Due to the wildfires, some structures in the water system were either destroyed or damaged. These conditions may have caused harmful contaminants, including volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), to enter the water system. As a precaution, the Hawai'i State Department of Health and the County of Maui Department of Water Supply are advising residents of the affected area as follows:

DO NOT DRINK YOUR TAP WATER

Bottled water or potable water provided by the Department of Water Supply must be used for drinking (including making baby formula and juice), brushing teeth, making ice, and food preparation. 

DO NOT TRY TO TREAT THE WATER YOURSELF 

Boiling, freezing, filtering, adding chlorine or other disinfectants or letting water stand will not make the water safe. If volatile organic compound (VOC) contamination is suspected or detected, boiling water could release VOCs into the air.

Please adhere to the following additional guidance if your home or business is within the Unsafe Water Advisory Areas:

  • Do not use tap water for any consumptive purpose, including drinking, cooking, or brushing your teeth. 
  • Do not use ice from automatic ice makers. 
  • Use cold water to wash clothing or other items. Dry laundry outdoors.
  • Take showers instead of baths. 
  • Limit shower time. Use lukewarm water and ventilate the area. 
  • Use a dishwasher to wash dishes. Turn it to the air dry setting.
  • Do not use pools or hot tubs.
  • Use proper ventilation when using water indoors.

Where can I find potable water?

For potable water, please bring large water containers, at least 5-gallon capacity, to any of the following locations:

Lahaina:

  • Kahoma Village at Front Street entrance
  • Lahaina Gateway Shopping Center
  • Lahaina Baseyard parking area
  • Nahale street

Upper Kula:

  • Kula Lodge
  • Copp Road

Wastewater

Can I flush my toilet or let water run down the drain if my wastewater service is interrupted?

No; if the Wastewater Service maps show that you do not have functioning sewer service, please DO NOT flush toilets or allow water down any household drain. Although your toilet may flush and water may drain initially, if the service is not functional, you risk eventual sewage backing up in the house.

What are the County of Maui’s next steps to restore wastewater service in impacted areas of West Maui?

The County of Maui Wastewater Reclamation Division is working to:

  • Restore Wastewater Pump Station 4 at Mala Wharf in order to provide services to Kahoma Village: and Upper Kapunakea Houselots Subdivision No. 2: Nahale Place, Ipukula Way and Kapunkea Street (mauka of Honoapiilani Highway)
  • Restore service to the Lahaina Cannery Mall and commercial sites makai of the property
  • Flush and assess other lines within the fire-impacted area
  • Repair Wastewater Pump Station 5 and 6 and the associated service areas
  • Restore service to Wastewater Pump Station 7 serving the Puamana Area

Fire Debris Removal

What is the process for cleanup and removal of fire debris?

Fire debris removal is broken down into two phases:

Phase 1: Hazardous Materials Removal is the removal of hazardous materials that may impact human health, animals and the environment through exposure. In coordination with the County of Maui and the State of Hawai‘i, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has assigned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to survey, remove and dispose of hazardous material from all properties impacted by the wildfires in Lahaina, Kula and Olinda.

Hazardous materials could include compressed gas cylinders, pesticides, paints, oils, fertilizers, ammunition and batteries (including lithium-ion batteries, particularly household solar battery storage systems). These items can contain hazardous ingredients and require special handling and disposal.

Phase 2:  Fire Debris Removal is the removal of the remaining structural ash and debris and may include soil testing. The County of Maui, State of Hawai‘i, FEMA and local officials will coordinate with the U.S Army Corps of Engineers to offer a Consolidated Debris Removal Program. The program will allow the Corps to conduct the safe removal and handling of fire-damaged debris from destroyed properties. 

A private fire debris removal process will be established for those who want to opt out of the Consolidated Debris Removal Program. The County is currently working to develop the process, guidance documents and forms for private contractor fire debris removal and will have the information published soon.

Is participation in both Phase 1 and 2 of the debris removal process mandatory?

Yes, fire-impacted properties with eligible debris are required to complete both Phase 1 and 2 of the program.

For Phase 1, all properties are required to have hazardous materials and waste removed. These items can be hazardous and require special handling and disposal. The EPA will complete this process for all fire-impacted properties. Phase 1 of the Program is being conducted at no cost to property owners.

Phase 2 debris removal by the Corps is optional; however, properties that opt out of this option are still required to provide for the timely removal of hazardous debris fields, and deadlines will be set by the County. Removal by a private contractor is authorized but must be done at the homeowner’s expense, and work done must meet or exceed the standards set by local, state and federal agencies. This includes compliance with all legal requirements for handling, disposal at authorized disposal sites, soil sampling and transportation. In addition, best management practices must be utilized along with work activity documentation and erosion control. 

What debris is eligible for Phase 2 of the Consolidated Debris Removal Program?

Agreements are still being finalized, however it is expected that Phase 2 will include debris and ash removal related to any structures on residential properties that are at least 120 square feet. Driveways will be retained as much as possible, both for possible reuse and also to serve as a staging area for debris removal and rebuilding equipment. In many cases, concrete driveways have been weakened as a result of the heat from the fire and may crack easily during this phase.

How will I know that the process has started and completed?

Phase 1 is currently underway; EPA will post a sign on each property when hazardous waste removal is complete, and will also notify the broader community when hazardous materials removal is completed in an entire neighborhood. View EPA’s online resource tool, which provides information on their process, progress and completion status: bit.ly/EPAprogress  

Once a Right-of-Entry (ROE) form is signed for Phase 2, Army Corps employees will contact homeowners that are enrolled in the Consolidated Debris Removal Program via phone 24-48 hours in advance to provide notice of work start times. The Corps’ contractor is required to provide the Corps a formal report of completion. The Corps will provide those reports to the county, and the county will notify homeowners. A Phase 2 map, showing progress, will be published once work gets underway.

How much will Phase 2 cost?

If you had insurance in effect at the time of the wildfire that provides coverage for debris removal, it is required that those funds, if not used for rebuilding, go toward reimbursement of Program costs. In most cases, the cost of debris removal will be greater than the insurance available. Reimbursement amount will not exceed the costs of debris removal on your specific property. If coverage for debris removal is not a separate insurance category, any reimbursement for debris removal will be limited to the unused benefit amount (if any) in that coverage category after the residence is rebuilt. If the full amount of general coverage is used for rebuilding, you will not be responsible for any reimbursement.

If you participate in Phase 2 of the program, we recommend that you consult with your insurance carrier to confirm how much is dedicated to debris removal. If your site will require private debris removal in addition to what is covered under Phase 2 of the Consolidated Debris Removal Program, you can use your debris insurance proceeds to cover those costs, and will only be expected to provide the remainder (if any) to reimburse the Program. If you do not have insurance the Program will be provided at no cost. 

How do I sign up for Phase 2 of the Debris Removal Program?

Property owners must sign up by completing a Right-of-Entry (ROE) form. No removal of non-hazardous, fire-damaged material will begin on private property without the permission of the property owner.

Can’t find what you are looking for and want to speak to a representative?

Please contact the State of Hawaii Maui Disaster Relief Call Center:

808-727-1550

Call Center hours: 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (HST)