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Hawaiian Electric says power lines started morning fire on August 8, but not afternoon Lahaina Fire

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By illuminem briefings 🌎

· 2 min read


illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on CNN or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) attributes an early morning fire on August 8 to wind-felled power lines
• However, when a second fire emerged in Lahaina later that day, their lines had been inactive for six hours
• This statement contrasts with Maui County's lawsuit claims, accusing HECO of ignoring warnings and maintaining active power lines

🔭 The context: Maui County is suing HECO, citing negligence despite prior wind and fire warnings 
• HECO admits its lines caused a morning fire, contained by 9am, but denies links between their infrastructure and the more devastating afternoon blaze

🌎 Why does it matter for the planet: The tragedy underscores the increasing challenges utilities face in a changing climate
• As weather events become more extreme, the need to ensure infrastructural safety and preparedness becomes even more crucial

⏭️ What's next: With the recent lawsuit, tensions between Maui County and HECO have heightened
• Both sides are expected to present evidence supporting their claims in court, with HECO emphasizing their commitment to community safety and resilience in the face of climate change

💬 One quote: “To the extent the Hawaiian Electric fire flared up in the afternoon due to high winds, that is not the fault of the dedicated firefighters or Maui County.” (Shelee Kimura, president and CEO of HECO)

📈 One stat: The tragic afternoon fire resulted in the death of at least 115 people and damaged or destroyed more than 2,000 structures

Click for more news covering the latest on power & utilities

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