Government officials and locals are encouraging tourists to avoid any non-essential travel and stay home until further notice.

No, You Should Not Be Taking Your Vacation in Maui Right Now

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Though it may seem tempting as a traveler to want to support the communities of Maui with your tourism dollars, now is not the time to be heading out on your holiday. Despite Paris Hilton recently being spotted living it up on a luxe vacay in the resort town of Wailea, local officials as well as native Hawaiians like Jason Mamoa are urging travelers to steer clear of West Maui including Lāhainā, Nāpili, Kāʻanapali, and Kapalua in the immediate wake of the Lahaina wildfires that have destroyed the region.

“The collective resources and attention of the federal, state and county government, the West Maui community, and the travel industry must be focused on the recovery of residents who were forced to evacuate their homes and businesses,” the Hawaii Tourism Authority said in a statement late Saturday.

As of today, there are 96 confirmed fatalities in the Lahaina fire, which so far burned an estimated 2,170 acres and is about 85% contained. According to the County of Maui, Hawaii, there is currently no access to clean drinking water in the area, and permits are being issued for access into West Maui for only essential persons including West Maui residents, West Maui resort personnel, first responder personnel, medical personnel, utility personnel, county personnel, supply transport personnel, and volunteer personnel.

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About 46,000 residents and visitors have flown out of Kahului Airport in West Maui in an attempt to find shelter. And with approximately 500 hotel rooms off-island being used as temporary housing, space is limited. There is currently a movement led by Governor Josh Green to push Airbnb to make sure those homes are available to displaced locals, as nearly 90% of the structures destroyed by the fire were residential.

Instead of further straining the infrastructure in the area, it’s best to donate to reputable organizations that are aiding in relief efforts, rather than resuming travel to the area. And it’s worth reconsidering travel to other Hawaiian islands, too. Oahu is mobilizing support for evacuees, converting the Hawaii Convention Center into an assistance center and temporary shelter with the help of the Red Cross.

“Do not convince yourself that your presence is needed on an island that is suffering this deeply,” Momoa said. “Mahalo to everyone who has donated and shown aloha to the community in this time of need.”