An aerial image shows destroyed homes and vehicles after a wind driven wildfire burned from the hills through neighborhoods to the Pacific Ocean, as seen in the aftermath of the Maui wildfires in Lahaina, Hawaii, on Aug. 17, 2023. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

The list of people who remain unaccounted for after Maui’s wildfire disaster dropped to 388, a significant decline from earlier estimates, after hundreds of individuals initially reported missing were found.

Maui County has released a list validated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of those unaccounted for since the Aug. 8 wildfire tore through the seaside town of Lahaina. An additional 1,732 people who had been reported missing have been found safe and well as of late Thursday afternoon, the county said in a Thursday statement.

Search teams combing through the last unchecked buildings in Lahaina haven’t found the mass casualties many feared, Hawaii’s governor said earlier Thursday, offering a rare positive note in the wake of his state’s deadliest natural disaster.

The death toll from the fire remains at 115, with just 5% of the burned area left to search. In a daily update on his Facebook page, Governor Josh Green said the number is holding steady even as searchers scour multistory buildings.

“Our tragedy remains, but they’re going through the complex buildings now, and in the last day or two, they have not found mass fatalities,” he said.

Green said the number of unaccounted would drop substantially as the FBI removes duplicate names from a list compiled by multiple agencies.

David R. Baker, Doug Alexander

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