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Hawaii attorney general subpoenas multiple Maui departments amid wildfire probe

Hawaii attorney general subpoenas multiple Maui departments amid wildfire probe

Three key Maui departments have been served subpoenas in order to move forward the Hawaii Attorney General's Office investigation into the deadly wildfires as critical facts are still needed.

Hawaii Attorney General Anne E. Lopez subpoenaed the Maui Emergency Management Agency, the County of Maui Department of Public Works, and the County of Maui Department of Water Supply on Monday in connection with the deadly August wildfires on Maui.

Lopez said she hopes the subpoenas can quicken the pace at which "critical facts" are gathered from "key stakeholders" to move forward in this first stage of the investigation. This includes a "comprehensive scientific analysis on how the fire incident unfolded," according to a statement by the attorney general's office.

"We appreciate the cooperation of the Maui fire and police departments, and while we continue to work through some issues, their leaders and line responders have been transparent and cooperative," Lopez said in a statement.

MORE: Maui's Resilience: The island's path to recovery

PHOTO: A view of destruction from Hwy 30 days after a fierce wildfire destroyed the town, Aug. 14, 2023, in Lahaina, Hawaii. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
PHOTO: A view of destruction from Hwy 30 days after a fierce wildfire destroyed the town, Aug. 14, 2023, in Lahaina, Hawaii. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The wildfires left at least 100 people dead and thousands of buildings destroyed, causing more than $5.5 billion in damage. The tragedy has had a deep emotional and economic toll on the region, as the homes and businesses lost in the blaze have yet to be recovered.

Questions continue to be raised by both residents and legislators about who is at fault and what could have been done to prevent the deadly wildfires in West Maui, as lawsuits continue to pile up and point fingers.

According to the Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI), which is aiding in the investigation, more than 100 community member interviews have been conducted, and more than 1,000 videos and images of the incident have been shared with the organization.

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The FSRI team has also been interviewing local emergency services as well as federal, state, and local groups for first-person perspectives.

The investigation was announced in August shortly after the tragedy to "find the facts and develop new policies and procedures to save lives and property in the future," according to the attorney general's office.

Hawaii attorney general subpoenas multiple Maui departments amid wildfire probe originally appeared on abcnews.go.com