Josh Green, the Hawaii Governor issued a warning to investors and realtors that have approached Maui residents in an effort to purchase their land that has been damaged by the devastating wild infernos engulfing the Island.
“I’ve reached out to the Attorney General to explore options to do a moratorium on any sales of properties that have been damaged or destroyed,” Green said in a press release. “Moreover, I would caution people that it’s going to be a very long time, before any growth, or housing can be built. And so, you would be pretty poorly informed if you try to steal land from our people and then build here.”
The remarks by the Hawaii governor come shortly after claims surfaced on social media from Maui residents who said that they were contacted by relators and investors interested in purchasing their land as wildfires continue to rage.
On Sunday, the Kāko’o Haleakalā organization posted a video criticizing these investors and realtors, who were not named. “If you are a victim and they are calling you, please get their name, get their business name, so we can put them on blast,” a member of the organization said in the video.
On Monday, officials in Maui County provided an update on the different active wildfires on the island. The Upcountry/Kula fire, which is around 678 acres in size, is currently 65 percent contained and the Lahaina fire has grown to around 2,170 acres and is currently 85 percent contained.
The update said that the Maui Police Department confirmed 99 fatalities due to the wildfires and that three of the victims have been identified: “Their names will be released after their families are notified. About 25% of the area has been searched,” according to the update.