SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – A group of San Francisco firefighters is back home after helping the victims of the Maui wildfires. Members of the Asian Firefighters Association were recognized by the city attorney and board of supervisors president after spending a week volunteering in Hawaii. 

Some members have personal ties to Maui – growing up in the exact neighborhoods where the fire burned through town. They say during their brief time there it was devastating to see in person and they will continue to support the people of Hawaii during this critical time.”

“Instead of going as firefighters, the best thing to do is volunteer as individuals,” said Stan Lee, the president of the Asian Firefighters Association. 

Eleven San Francisco firefighters are back home in the Bay Area after using their own vacation time to help the people of Maui. Lee spearheaded the week-long mission. Relief efforts included distributing water and food.

City Attorney David Chiu presented a certificate of recognition for the Asian Firefighters Association. The President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors also welcomed the group back

“That was very heartbreaking seeing things like that,” Lee said of the trip. “There were some families that lost everything: homes, even parents and now they’re living at the hotels.”

“This is a marathon,” said Kaeo Nakua with the Asian Firefighters Association. “This is not a quick fix, this is not a 24-hour news cycle. The poor people in Paradise are still rebuilding their homes. Hawaii and Maui specifically is going to be extremely difficult for them.”

Going forward these San Francisco firefighters want people to continue to think about the people in Maui. The Asian Firefighters Association is planning a second trip to support Maui in the next couple of months.