2023-56 ATTORNEY GENERAL CONTINUES TO PUSH KEY PARTIES TO MOVE THE MAUI FIRE INVESTIGATION TOWARD CONCLUSION
DEPARTMENT OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
KA ʻOIHANA O KA LOIO KUHINA
JOSH GREEN, M.D.
News Release 2023-56
ATTORNEY GENERAL CONTINUES TO PUSH KEY PARTIES TO MOVE THE MAUI FIRE INVESTIGATION TOWARD CONCLUSION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 27, 2023
HONOLULU – Attorney General Anne Lopez announced today that her office continues to aggressively push the first phase of the independent investigation into the Maui wildfires forward. Critical facts are still needed from several key stakeholders for Phase 1 to be completed.
The timeline for the release of the Phase 1 findings is dependent on the Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI) gaining access to all facts before completing Phase 1 and a comprehensive scientific analysis on how the fire incident unfolded. “Until that happens, this critical process cannot move forward,” said Attorney General Lopez.
Subpoenas have been served upon the Maui Emergency Management Agency, the County of Maui Department of Public Works, and the County of Maui Department of Water Supply. Subpoenas will allow the Attorney General to collect information in a timely manner.
“We appreciate the cooperation of the Maui fire and police departments, and while we continue to work through some issues, their leaders and line responders have been transparent and cooperative,” continued Attorney General Lopez.
After obtaining the complete set of critical facts for FSRI review, the Office of the Attorney General will announce a revised date for sharing the Phase 1 results with the people of Hawaiʻi.
The Maui wildfires caused significant loss of life, more than $5.5 billion in damage, and continue to take an economic toll. To capture timely and accurate information while first responders can recall details of the wildfires, the FSRI team has been working within the impacted communities since the end of August. The willingness of Lahaina community members to share their stories is vital and appreciated.
“We have conducted more than 100 conversations and viewed more than 1,000 personal videos and images shared by many of the residents affected by the wildfires,” said Dr. Steve Kerber, vice president and executive director of FSRI, a research organization dedicated to addressing the world’s unresolved fire safety risks and emerging dangers. “We are committed to investigating all of the facts and that requires accessing real-time information as the fire situation unfolded.” The FSRI team has been scheduling time with local emergency services and federal, state, and local organizations that responded to the wildfires and can share their first-hand perspectives.
The purpose of the independent investigation announced in August 2023 is to find the facts and develop new policies and procedures to save lives and property in the future. “I remain personally invested in representing the truth, ensuring a comprehensive, independent investigation and communicating throughout this process,” emphasized Attorney General Lopez. “Our communities expect and deserve a safer Hawaiʻi.”
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About the Attorney General
The Attorney General is the chief legal officer and chief law enforcement officer of the State of Hawaiʻi. The Attorney General is appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. The Attorney General is by statute authorized to independently proceed with investigations and works to deliver on its mission of providing excellent legal and public services in a timely manner.
About Fire Safety Research Institute
UL’s Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI) strives to advance fire safety knowledge and strategies to create safer environments. Using advanced fire science, rigorous research, extensive outreach, and education in collaboration with an international network of partners, the organization imparts stakeholders with the knowledge, tools, and resources that enable them to make better, more fire safe decisions that ultimately save lives and property. To learn more, visit fsri.org.
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Special Assistant to the Attorney General
Email: [email protected]