Maui wildfire death toll hits 55 and may rise; recovery to take years

Maui’s wildfires have killed at least 55 people, a toll expected to rise, and unleashed destruction on the resort town of Lahaina that will take many years and billions of dollars to rebuild, Hawaiian officials said on Thursday.

Governor Josh Green said the inferno that reduced much of Lahaina to smoldering ruins was the worst natural disaster in the state’s history, making thousands of people homeless and leveling as many as 1,000 buildings.

“It’s going to take many years to rebuild Lahaina,” Green said told a news conference, as officials began to map out a plan to shelter the newly homeless in hotels and tourist rental properties.

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