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FEMA photo of the aftermath of the Hawaii wildfire

Lahaina Hawaii Fire Timeline Report

Posted: May 20, 2024

On April 17, 2024, Hawaii’s attorney general released the Lahaina Fire Comprehensive Timeline Report on the devastating August 2023 fire that lead to 101 fatalities, widespread destruction and devastating community impacts.

This is the first phase of an independent analysis conducted by the Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI), part of UL Research Institutes. The report chronologically details the events that occurred prior to, during and immediately following the Lahaina fire beginning at 2:55 p.m. HST on Aug. 8, 2023, and concluding at 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 9, 2023, including preparedness efforts and weather and its impact to infrastructure. Data from the 3 other Maui fires is also included in specific sections to give context to the situation in Lahaina.

This report features a detailed timeline of:

  • Preparedness efforts.
  • Fire progression.
  • Evacuation activities.
  • Emergency response.
  • Fire suppression actions.

The timeline is based on a comprehensive array of data sources including:

  • Radio communications and transcripts.
  • Images (still images or image capture from digital videos).
  • Emergency logs.
  • Technical discussions with authorities and residents.
  • Text and phone logs.
  • Email records.
  • Automatic vehicle location applications.
  • Social media posts.
  • Witness accounts.
  • Corroborated personal experiences.

Also included is mapping and analysis illustrating how the fires moved from the wildland into Lahaina’s neighborhoods, rapidly transforming from a grassland fire into an urban conflagration.

This first report will serve as the foundation for the second phase of FSRI’s independent analysis Incident Analysis Report, which will provide detail on conditions influencing the original fire situation, attempts to stop its rapid progression through Lahaina Town, and evacuation efforts.