Western Maui Wildfire Emergency Response Enters Next Phase

Image: Global Diving and Salvage.

The U.S. Coast Guard, Hawaii Department of Health and the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources have said they plan to focus on hazard mitigation in their next phase to restore Lahaina Harbor and its adjacent waterways post-Maui wildfires, it was announced Sept. 16.

These responders – known as the Western Maui Wildfire Emergency Support Function No. 10 Unified Command – have tapped Seattle-based Global Diving & Salvage to help with removal operations in Lahaina Harbor.

Global Diving is being tasked with evaluating the state of the harbor and developing a plan to take out hazardous materials and sunken vessels from the water. Once the plan is reviewed and approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, the company is expected to move forward in the coming weeks.

The cleanup is expected to occur in phases and would include identifying and reaching out to owners of any sunken or missing vessels, assessing safety and environmental issues and removing debris.

A Harbor Coordination Group has been created for the owners and operators of the affected vessels, and can be contacted at D14-DG-SH-SecHono-MTSRU@uscg.mil.

The Aug. 8 wildfire resulted in 97 deaths, destroyed Lahaina and resulted in significant property damage, according to NBC News.

By Karen Robes Meeks