Maui Fire Department To Release After-Action Report On Deadly Hawaii Wildfires

The Maui Fire Department is expected to release a report Tuesday detailing how the agency responded to a series of wildfires that burned on the island during a windstorm last August — including one that killed 101 people in the historic town of Lahaina and became the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century.

The release comes one day before the Hawaii Attorney General is expected to release the first phase of a separate comprehensive investigation about the events before, during and after the Aug. 8 fires.

The reports could help officials understand exactly what happened when the wind-whipped fire overtook the historic Maui town of Lahaina, destroying roughly 3,000 properties and causing more than $5.5 billion in estimated damage, according to state officials.

The Western Fire Chiefs Association produced the after-action report for the Maui Fire Department. After-action reports are frequently used by military organizations, emergency response agencies, government entities and even companies to help identify the strengths and weaknesses of the organization’s response to an emergency.

A similar after-action report was released by the Maui Police Department in February. It included 32 recommendations to improve the law enforcement agency’s response to future tragedies, including that the department obtain better equipment and that it station a high-ranking officer in the island’s communications center during emergencies.

Hawaiian Electric has acknowledged that one of its power lines fell and caused a fire in Lahaina the morning of Aug. 8, but the utility company denies that the morning fire caused the flames that burned through the town later that day. But dozens of lawsuits filed by survivors and victims’ families claim otherwise, saying entities like Hawaiian Electric, Maui County, large property owners or others should be held responsible for the damage caused by the inferno.

Read full story at ABC News.