‘It’s like a war zone’: Pilot captures chilling video of devastation in Lahaina

Hundreds of homes and businesses have been reportedly destroyed.
Published: Aug. 9, 2023 at 1:19 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 9, 2023 at 1:53 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As a massive wildfire spread through Lahaina town on Tuesday night, Chrissy Lovitt jumped on a boat at the harbor to get to safety.

The captain of Insta Boat had hoped to save her own craft, but was too late. “The water was on fire,” Lovitt said. “I was not able to get my boat into the harbor and it did burn up.”

The sheer scope of devastation in Lahaina came into sharper focus on Wednesday morning as drone operators and helicopter pilots were able to get aerial views.

Pilot Richard Olsten said the catastrophe is unprecedented in modern Hawaii history.

“It’s like ... an area was bombed or just in like a war zone,” Olsten said. “It doesn’t even seem real. It’s just horrible.”

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Olsten estimated that he saw over 200 houses burned to the ground. Officials have not yet released numbers for structures destroyed in the fire.

“There’s not even part of the structures left. It’s just they’re just gone, is erased,” Olsten said.