shortly thereafter On August 8, the deadliest wildfire in modern American history hit Lahaina, Maui, sparking speculation about electrical equipment, a notorious igniter of uncontrolled fires.
Investigators have yet to formally determine the cause of the wildfires, but an eyewitness said: A power pole is reported to have broken Winds of 90 miles per hour blew down the nearby mountains, sparking dry vegetation. And last week, Maui County attacked Hawaiian Electric. lawsuitaccusing power companies of neglecting their obligations to turn off infrastructure given the known risk of such high winds causing wildfires.
On Sunday, the power company responded: press releaseAt 6:30 a.m., he said the morning fire was “apparently caused by a power line blown down by strong winds.” Firefighters extinguished the blaze, the press release continued, but another fire broke out in the same area around 3 p.m. when the power company said power lines had been out for more than six hours. The fire then spread to Lahaina as well.
“Hawaiian Electric has confirmed that it started the Lahaina Fire on August 8,” Maui County Attorney John Fisk said in a statement to WIRED. “In a recent release issued Sunday night before the market opened, Hawaiian Electric stated, without providing any corroborating information, that a second source of ignition may have existed on the afternoon of August 8. You seem to suggest that there is.”
Investigators have yet to determine whether two separate fires were set off or whether the afternoon blaze was a flare-up of the early morning blaze. Hawaiian Electric declined to answer questions for this article, citing a WIRED press release.
If investigators finally conclude that the blaze was caused by an electrical installation, the Maui blaze is another recent city in the western United States that was started by violent winds that shook power infrastructure, which was then powered. Join the destructive fire.nevertheless if Power companies can “underground” pipes, enclosing them in pipes, burying them in ditches, etc., to prevent equipment from causing fires. There are many other ways to cause epic conflagrations on a warming planet.
Wind is essential to the largest, fastest, and worst wildfires. And electricity can be a dangerous addition. When a gust of wind knocks over trees and hits a power line, or a pole snaps or falls, the impact can send sparks into the vegetation below. The wind fanns the expanding flames, pushing them across the landscape at such a speed that those in the way do not have time to evacuate. (Also, strong winds can lift embers into the air, possibly carrying them two miles beyond the main fire, starting new fires and complicating firefighters’ response.) Towns like Lahaina where it is located are poorly maintained. Vegetation striking or intermingling with structures is particularly vulnerable to such rapidly progressing fires.
America’s aging power grid was not designed for today’s climate of warm air, intense and prolonged drought, and drought. This makes electrical fires and wind fires more destructive and deadly. In 2017, the Tubbs fire destroyed more than 5,600 buildings and killed 22 people, and in 2018, the Camp fire destroyed the town of Paradise and killed 85 people. In 2019, California power company Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) $13.5 billion settlement Regarding wildfires associated with that facility, including both of these fires. In terms of casualties, both events far outweigh the impact of the Lahaina fire. At least 115 people have been confirmed dead and hundreds are still missing.