Maui wildfires: 100 people reported safe after officials release list of missing

Within hours of releasing the names of 388 people unaccounted for following the Maui wildfires, 100 were reported safe, the FBI confirmed.

Authorities released the names on Thursday and asked survivors to come forward, so they could focus their efforts on locating any others.

The official death toll from the fires currently stands at 115.

Search teams are still combing through the charred remains of the historic town of Lahaina and other areas.

The devastating fires spread on 8 August and blazed through the oceanside town of Lahaina, home to 12,000 people.

In a press conference, the FBI's special agent in charge in Honolulu, Steven Merril, said they were "very thankful for the people who have reached out by phone or email".

"As we get someone off of a list, this has enabled us to devote more resources to those who are still on the list."

In a statement on Thursday, Maui's police chief John Pellettier said the names were released in an effort to narrow down who remains unaccounted for.

"We know that it will help with the investigation," Chief Pelletier said.

Officials also asked residents to come forward if they see a name of a person they know to be safe.

Earlier in the week, authorities said more than 1,000 people were still unaccounted for.

As of Thursday, Chief Pelletier said that an additional 1,732 people who were believed to be missing have since been found safe. Officials have been able to narrow down the list of missing by cross referencing it with names of people staying at shelters.

"We also know that once those names come out, it can and will cause pain for folks whose loved ones are listed," Chief Pelletier added in his statement.

"This is not an easy thing to do, but we want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to make this investigation as complete and thorough as possible."

The wildfires are among the deadliest in US history, and officials have said that they anticipate the death toll may rise.

Search and Rescue members conduct operations in fire damaged areas on Friday August 18, 2023 in Lahania, HI. The death toll continues to rise for the fires on Maui.
The official death toll from the Maui wildfire is 115, though officials have cautioned it may rise

Maui officials have publicly identified 46 people who died in the fire. The latest names, released on Thursday, include a family of four whose remains were found in a burnt car near their home.

They were identified as: 7-year-old Tony Takafua; his mother Salote Tone, 39; and his grandparents Faaoso Tone, 70, and Maluifonua Tone, 73.

Tony is the first confirmed child victim of the wildfire.