The historic town, on the Hawaiian island of Maui that burned in a deadly wildfire that killed at least 100 people, reopened Monday to residents and business owners holding day passes.
In the days after the Aug. 8 wildfire, some people were able to return to their properties to evaluate the damage. But since then, the burned area has been off-limits to all but authorized workers.
Officials and volunteers say addressing mental health needs and trauma will likely take years.
When the deadly wildfires ignited on Maui, tourists were turned away. Three weeks later, business owners are eager for them visit — responsibly.
Since the fire residents have gotten multiple calls from realtors offering to buy their land. Activists want a role in planning, to keep developers from pushing out those who call Lahaina home.
"There was a neighbor who sent a note to us and said, 'Oh, you won the lottery,'" Trip Millikin, whose house survived, told NPR. "And I almost wanted to throw up when I got that."
Officials in Hawaii are scrambling to support the enormous and growing mental health needs of Maui residents traumatized by the deadliest wildfire in modern history
The devastating fires on Maui burned more than 2,000 homes and buildings in Lahaina. Many churches have taken in their congregants because they have nowhere to go.
As people grapple with more than 100 people who died in the Lahaina fire on Maui, they're still trying to understand the loss of priceless artifacts and their connections to the island's ancient past.
While the world focuses on the devastation in West Maui and the destruction of the historic community of Lahaina, another wildfire is still burning in the hills some 25 miles away in Kula.