The massive wildfire in Maui has triggered an outpouring of help from across the nation, and a coalition from the Los Angeles County Fire Department left for the island to assist with search and rescue efforts.
Three LAFD K-9 teams departed from LAX late Sunday morning to provide aid and support to the Maui Emergency Management Team.
“We’re expecting about a two week deployment,” said L.A. County Fire Department firefighter paramedic Nicholas Bartel. “We are going to go find the victims of the fire and bring closure to the families.”
Bartel is joined by Capt. Celina Serrano and firefighter paramedic Edward Ruiz, as well as K-9 Prentiss, K-9 Harper and K-9 Six.
Search and recovery efforts on the state’s second-largest island are ongoing and will continue for the foreseeable future. The death toll from the wildfire has risen to 93 as of Sunday afternoon, officials said.
The Maui wildfire is the deadliest in the United States in over a century, and according to Hawaii Gov. Josh Green, it will ‘certainly’ be the worst natural disaster in the state’s history.
“It’s going to be, in the short term, heartbreaking, in the long term, people are going to need mental health care services, and in the very long term, we will rebuild together,” Gov. Green said at a press conference.
Gov. Green says that the fire has caused nearly $6 billion in damage, and that figure is likely to rise.
At least 2,200 buildings in West Maui were destroyed, including nearly the entire village of Lahaina. According to officials, as many as 4,500 people are in need of shelter.