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  • 1440 Daily Digest

Maui Wildfires Aftermath

The death toll from last week's wildfires in Maui has now reached at least 110 as search and rescue crews continue to find remains from the mostly destroyed town of Lahaina. Nearly 30% of the affected area has been covered by roughly 185 crew personnel and 20 cadaver dogs. Only five of the bodies recovered so far have been identified; roughly 1,300 people are still missing.

While the specific cause of the Maui fires is still under investigation, reports suggest one possible contributor might be a downed power line. Footage captured by a bystander in a Maui neighborhood shows a trail of flames after a utility pole fell amid high winds from Hurricane Dora. See the footage here (via Facebook).

Three lawsuits have been filed against Hawaiian Electric, claiming the company should be held responsible for the wildfire and deaths. Hawaiian Electric, which services 95% of Hawaii's residents, faces criticism for keeping the power on while high winds knocked down trees and branches, impacting electric lines. The company has opened its own investigation.

The Maui disaster is the deadliest US fire since 1918 (see data visualization).

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