According to the state’s attorney general, Anne Lopez, Hawaii is hiring an unbiased, outside investigator to examine the steps taken by state and municipal authorities in response to the devastating wildfires that claimed the lives of over 100 people.

The decision to launch an independent investigation was made in response to growing concerns about the effectiveness of disaster management authorities’ attempts to warn locals as flames quickly engulfed areas of West Maui last week, tragically culminating in the loss of the ancient town of Lahaina.

Notably, Hawaii Governor Josh Green recently indicated during a news conference that the probe is not criminal in character. Understanding the response mechanisms and maintaining public safety are the main concerns, especially in light of the impending hurricane season and the likelihood that fires will continue to occur in the years to come.

Attorney General Lopez decided to hire an outside investigator in response to the mounting demand for an impartial investigation after Governor Green ordered the attorney general’s office to conduct a thorough investigation into the wildfires.

At least 111 individuals lost their lives in the terrible fire, which also left hundreds of others homeless. Over 2,700 buildings with a loss of $5.6 billion in worth were destroyed in Lahaina’s massive damage.

Despite designating wildfires as a circumstance that calls for siren activation on its website, the Maui County Emergency Management Agency has come under fire for not sounding the warning sirens during the wildfire outbreak. While text messaging, television, and radio were used to spread notifications, the lack of sirens caused a public uproar.

Director of Maui’s emergency management organization Herman Andaya defended the choice to turn off the sirens. He said that sirens are often used for tsunami warnings, and that when they sound, people instinctively run for higher ground. However, it would have been dangerous to flee to higher land while the flames were burning.

The activation of sirens would be futile for those living there, Andaya noted, since there were no sirens in the mountainous area where the flames were growing.

Due to dry conditions in the state and unusually high winds from Hurricane Dora, the flames spread quickly and destructively.

The utility provider, Hawaii Electric, is coming under more investigation even though the cause of the fire’s specific origin is still unknown. According to many complaints filed in Hawaii state court, the company’s downed power lines contributed to the flames.


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