Hawaii Governor Announces $150M Fund for Maui Wildfire Victims Modeled After 9/11 Fund

HONOLULU (AP) -- Hawaii Gov. Josh Green on Wednesday announced the creation of a $150 million fund to help those who lost family members or who were injured in Maui's wildfires.

Beneficiaries will receive payments of more than $1 million as early as April to June of next year, the governor's office said in a news release. Those getting money from the fund will waive their right to file legal claims.

The fund aims to enable swift and generous financial payments for losses without requiring people to go through time-consuming litigation, the release said. It also aims to finance the rebuilding of Lahaina in a manner "that embodies Hawaii's values and traditions."

Initial money for the fund is being provided by the state, Maui County, Hawaiian Electric and Kamehameha Schools, which is a major landowner in the Lahaina area. All four have been named in lawsuits over the wildfires. Green said he expects more partners to join the initiative.

The fund is modeled on the September 11thVictim Compensation Fund, Green said in livestreamed address.

A wildfire burned historic Lahaina on Aug. 8, killing at least 99 people and destroying more than 2,000 structures. The Federal Emergency Management Agency and aid organizations have provided shelter for some 8,000 people displaced by the fire.