A County Council committee next week will discuss environmental concerns that resulted from the August wildfires that burned around Maui, according to the committee’s agenda.
On Tuesday, Oct. 3, the County Council’s Agriculture, Diversification, Environment and Public Transportation Committee will discuss a variety of environmental matters and problems that stem from the devastating August wildfires on Maui. The committee will hear from at least three experts, according to the agenda:
- Kim Falinski, a coastal and estuarine scientist with The Nature Conservancy;
- Dr. Renee Takesue, a research geologist with the United States Geological Survey Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center;
- Ekolu Lindsey, president of Maui Cultural Lands.
In mid-September, two fire prevention experts testified before the Ag Committee that preventing future devastating wildfires on Maui requires repairing society’s “broken” relationship with the land, and that only a holistic approach that involves land-use policies, vegetation management, strengthened regulations and vastly more funding can construct “thriving landscapes” that protect the communities from wildfires in the future.
The Aug. 8 wildfires burned 19 homes Upcountry and devastated Lāhainā. An estimated 97 people died in the Lāhainā fire, with a further 22 still unaccounted for, according to the Maui Police Department. The Lāhainā fire also damaged or destroyed more than 2,200 structures, 86% of which were residential.
Estimated rebuilding costs exceed $5.5 billion, according to the County of Maui.
Tuesday’s meeting will be open to the public. The meeting will start at 9am on Tuesday, Oct. 3 and take place in the 8th Floor Council Chambers of the Kalana O Maui Building in Wailuku (200 S. High St.).