How you can help as Hawaii recovers from deadly wildfires

MAUI, Hawaii. — The Maui fire that has killed 53 people is now 80% contained. However, for many, the worst is yet to come as an island full of locals and tourists search for help.

President Biden has promised federal aid but now Red Cross volunteers say that it might not be enough. Parts of the island have been completely flattened leaving an island of people desperate for help.

“It’s absolute, total devastation,” said Red Cross volunteer Aaron Hayes, “I know from past things that I’ve done it’s nothing compared to what we’ve seen on video coming out of there, it’s going to be way worse”

Hayes is a retired first responder who has witnessed the devastation following the 9/11 attack and hurricane island and now is one of the 18 volunteers making his way to Hawaii.

“I’m going over to Maui just sheltering and feeding, taking care of the people in the shelters that have been burned out of their homes, there will be some tourists I’m imagining that will be there too that will have no place to go and can’t get off the island,” said Hayes.

The Red Cross is not the only one who is sending help, Alaska Airlines has told KIRO 7 that they have sent a rescue flight full of supplies such as food, water, and baby formula to Maui. The plan will then be used to transport people back to the U.S. mainland. Alaska is also donating miles and money to various non-profits in hopes that people will be able to get flights home.

“We never know what we’re going to get into,” said Hayes “These things develop so quickly and they’re trying to put everything together but still communication is still an issue because of the power, all of that so we’re just kind of taking it on the fly.”

You can help from home by donating to the American Red Cross, the Hawaii Community Foundation, Maui United Way, and the Maui Food Bank. The information and links to all of those recommended donations can be found below: