Milestone moment as first property is cleared of residential wildfire debris in Lahaina, Maui
A milestone moment was reached on Wednesday as the first residential property was cleared of wildfire debris on Fleming Road in Lahaina. This comes following months of coordinated reentry activities that allowed residents to gain access to their properties and assess damage. Debris removal from residential properties in Lahaina began on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024.
The debris removal is being done through a coordinated effort by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the US Army Corps of Engineers, US Environmental Protection Agency, Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency, the County of Maui and private contractors.
The action signals the start of Phase 2, in which debris is sprayed with water and wrapped in thick industrial plastic before being transported to the Temporary Debris Storage site in Olowalu. During the process, Maui-based Native Hawaiian cultural advisors work alongside USACE debris removal teams to monitor and provide guidance on cultural priorities, according to county officials.
“The start of debris removal is a critical milestone in our progress, and an important step forward,” Mayor Richard Bissen said in a news release. “We appreciate the hard work of our public works crews, US Army Corps of Engineers and contractors. As operations increase in the coming days, there will be teams conducting debris removal on multiple properties at the same time. Everyone is working hard on this cleanup process to help Lahaina residents and landowners return to their properties.”
The removal of hazardous household material and bulk asbestos material was completed by USACE during Phase 1 of the debris removal mission.
For more information on debris removal, visit www.mauirecovers.org/debrisremoval.