UPDATES: More than 1,285 people have been recovered safely, while the death toll rose to 115.

The Maui mayor answered a key question lingering over the deadly wildfires that ravaged parts of the island nearly two weeks ago — how many people are still unaccounted for?

The Aug. 8 blaze that destroyed the historic town of Lahaina spread rapidly, forcing people to flee amid a communications blackout that caused many to be out of touch for long periods.

The death toll rose by one to 115, the Maui Police Department said Monday. It said 13 individuals had been identified and their families notified, and 22 identified with notifications pending or their families not located.

The county said later that all burned single-story residences have been cleared and the search would now concentrate on multi-story properties.

Many families reported loved ones missing and lists were circulated online following the disaster. The process of identifying remains has been slow because many bodies were burned so badly.

“Recently these lists were combined and refined by the FBI,” Mayor Richard Bissen said Monday in a video posted on Instagram. 

850 people were still missing, down from more than 2,000 in the immediate aftermath of the Aug. 8 fire, Bissen said, noting that number is expected to fluctuate daily as names are added and removed.

“There is positive news in this number,” he said. “Through the tireless work of the FBI and the Maui police department over 1,285 individuals have been located safe.”

Maui police also released two more victims’ names – Douglas Gloege, 59, and Juan Deleon, 45. So far, all those confirmed to have died have been from Lahaina.

Bissen appealed to people with an immediate family member among the missing to give DNA samples to the family assistance center that has been set up at the Hyatt Regency Kaanapali.

The mayor said he planned to give daily updates on Instagram and invited the public to submit questions for a press conference on Tuesday to his office at community@mauicounty.gov.

Civil Beat’s coverage of Maui County is supported in part by grants from the Nuestro Futuro Foundation.

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