Maui officials were attending FEMA disaster training on Oahu while families burned to death in Lahaina

It has been revealed that the top emergency officials in charge of the wildfire response were not even on the island as the fires blazed.

More than 1,000 people are still missing on the island of Maui after wildfires tore through the town of Lahaina and officials declined to either divert water or sound warning sirens while children and families were burned alive.

Now it has been revealed that the top emergency officials in charge of the wildfire response were not even on the island as the fires blazed. It is feared that many of those who were killed are children.

Maui's officials were on the island of Oahu for a FEMA disaster meeting, held annually at Waikiki in Honolulu. These officials did not join a call about the response until five hours after the fires were reported, the Daily Mail writes.

Those officials who were on Oahu included Herman Andaya, who was responsible for leading the emergency response and resigned after the devestation. Andaya defended the choice to not use sirens to alert residents of imminent doom. Survivors have said that if only they'd had another 10-15 minutes awareness, more people would have been able to get out.

Andaya had no background in emergency response when he was given his post, and he was hired over 40 others who had far more experience and qualifications.

Major General Kenneth Hara, who is the director of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, and James Barros, also with the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, were also at the FEMA training.

The wildfires in Maui were discussed during the FEMA meeting. FEMA spokesperson John Mills said "there were consultations about the fires among local, state and FEMA participants."

There were a few fires on Maui on August 8, the day that so many lost their lives. The official death toll is still only just above 100, though it is expected to rise as the names of the missing turn into the names of the dead. Many remains may never be identified due to the extent of the burning.

The Upcountry Fire broke out in the wee hours of August 8, but then was reported to be contained by 9 am. A school was evacuated by 6:40 am, and an emergency call was not had by officials until 11 am. By 3:30 pm, evacuation orders were in effect. Officials declined to sound the warning sirens, and first responders went door to door telling people to leave.

The National Guard was activated by 3:30 pm, but due to road closures, a result of downed power lines, many in Lahaina were simply trapped. 
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