(HorizonPost.com) – The story in Maui, Hawaii continue to become more tragic every day. With 99% of the area in which the blaze raged searched and cleared, 115 people have been confirmed as deceased. Hundreds more remain missing, though, and unfortunately may never be found and may ultimately significantly increase the death toll of the devastating blaze. As of Monday, August 28th, the fire itself was still technically active, with some 90% contained. Currently, there are no active threats for a rampant fire to emerge or for the flames to intensify to levels seen earlier in the month. Maui’s Mayor Richard Bissen announced that public officials and emergency responders are commencing the next phase in operations in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency. Cleanup will be ongoing for the foreseeable future, and toxic materials and other debris will continue to be cleared.
As the fire is now largely contained, locals are returning to areas that were previously closed off by officials. In one heartbreaking case, Luz Vargas, a resident of Maui, found the remains of her adopted son and the family dog amidst the rubble of her home. In an absolutely appalling story, Vargas recounts that as the fire initially spread towards her residence weeks ago, she raced towards home with her husband and son, attempting to reach another who she had left home alone on the property. After abandoning her car in traffic and proceeding on foot, Vargas arrived at a barricade established by law enforcement. Several days later, she arrived home and among the ruins discovered the charred remains of her 15 year old adopted son Kenyero Fuentes, clutching those of the family dog. One can only imagine the nearly unfathomable final moments of the two tragic victims. The fire is likely the nation’s deadliest in over 100 years. It is safe to say that Americans across the nation stand solemnly with the victims and hope for a vibrant recovery.
Copyright 2023, HorizonPost.com