THE CALIFORNIA FIRE FOUNDATION announced Sunday it set up a disaster relief fund to support the people and firefighters impacted by the recent firestorm in Maui, Hawaii.

The California Fire Foundation is assisting Hawaii Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 1463, and the community to assess needs and directly distribute aid to those hardest hit.

The foundation exists to help communities and members of the fire service impacted by wildfires, mudslides, floods, earthquakes, or global pandemic.

A map shows parts of Lahaina in Maui County that were ravaged by wildfires leaving 80 people killed, according to local officials on Aug. 12, 2023. (Google Image)

“Here at the California Fire Foundation, our mission is to support survivors, firefighters and communities affected by natural disasters,” said Rick Martinez, the foundation’s executive director, who is on the ground assisting FEMA in Maui. “We have a deep appreciation for what the community is going through, and we recognize the cultural significance of the area impacted by the fire. Partnering with Hawaii Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 1463, ensures those residents and firefighters get and feel support from all of us in California.”

The California Fire Foundation’s wide variety of programs, from immediate assistance to long-term recovery, supports vital needs of those affected by natural disaster while being committed to the mission of providing emotional and financial assistance to families of fallen firefighters, firefighters, and the communities they protect across the state.

For more information on California Fire Foundation’s Maui Wildfire Relief Fund and how to support the program, visit

Solidarity in the hospitality industry

Another relief campaign has been started in San Francisco for the victims of the wildfires on the island of Maui, according to several groups, which kicked off the campaign Aug. 12.

Residents and others can donate to the Hawaii Community Foundation Maui Strong Fund, which was created to provide resources for disaster preparedness, response and recovery.

The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce is coordinating the relief campaign following the devastating fires in the community of Lahaina that have killed 80 people, Maui County officials said Aug. 12.

Fires also burned elsewhere and Lahaina has widespread damage from the fires, the officials said.

“We all felt solidarity with the businesses on Front Street in Lahaina,” said San Francisco Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Rodney Fong.

Other organizations helping with the campaign are official tourism site San Francisco Travel, the Hotel Council of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association and the Union Square Alliance.

“We wanted a unified and heartfelt message to our friends in the hospitality industry in Maui,” Fong said.

Local leaders are giving shoutouts and making calls for donations on Aug. 12 to the thousands expected at the Outside Lands music festival in San Francisco and to concertgoers in Union Square.

Donations can be made with a credit card online. The minimum online donation is $25.

Donations of any amount can be mailed to the Hawaii Community Foundation at 827 Fort Street Mall, Honolulu, HI 96813. Write “Maui Strong Fund” in the memo line.

Donors can dedicate their gift, remain anonymous or donate on behalf of an organization.

“SF has pulled together as quickly as possible to help our brothers and sisters in Maui,” said David Perry, a spokesperson for the San Francisco effort.

Keith Burbank is currently a fulltime reporter covering Alameda County and Oakland news for Bay City News. He has also worked on the Data Points project for Local News Matters, finding trends and stories about the region through data. In 2019, he was a California Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism, producing a series about homeless deaths in Santa Clara County. He worked as a swing shift editor for the newswire for several years as well. Outside of journalism, Keith enjoys computer programming, math, economics and music.