First phase of Maui fire investigation to be released next month

The fire killed 100 people and destroyed or damaged more than 2,200 structures.
Wildfire, burnt cars, Lahaina, Hawaii, Aug. 11, 2023

(The Center Square) - The first phase of the investigation into the August fires in Maui will be released on April 17, Attorney General Anne Lopez said.

The Fire Safety Research Institute, which is working with the attorney general's office on the investigation, experienced unexpected delays in compiling the report, Lopez said in a news release.

“We understand the people of Hawaii need to know what happened. We all want fast answers, but it is critical that this investigation be thorough and accurate," the attorney general said. "An analysis of this magnitude cannot be rushed, and we must allow for the time needed to make sure this investigation, based on science, is done correctly. I am confident that the Phase One report will provide some answers to the questions surrounding the tragic wildfire incident."

The report will give a scientific analysis of how the fire happened and include a timeline of events, according to Lopez. Sixty-one subpoenas were issued during the course of the investigation.

“Our team appreciates the willingness of community members, firefighters, police officers and other emergency workers to share information and their experiences as the wildfires started and began to spread,” said Steve Kerber, PhD, PE, vice president and executive director of the Fire Safety Research Institute. “Being able to review all of the data, which is extensive, has a tremendous impact on the comprehensive analysis of the fire incident and our recommendations to make Hawaii a safer place to live, work and play.”'

The fire killed 100 people and destroyed or damaged more than 2,200 structures.

The second phase of the report will include an analysis of the fire, according to the news release.