Maui government files lawsuit, accuses Hawaiian electric company of causing Lahaina wildfires

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Maui County filed a lawsuit Thursday against Hawaiian Electric Company, alleging that the utility company’s negligence caused the devastating wildfires that burned thousands of acres of land in the state and killed more than 100 people earlier this month.

The lawsuit alleges that HECO “inexcusably kept their power lines energized” in early August, despite the fact that the National Weather Service issued a High Wind Watch and a Fire Warning. The warnings cautioned that strong winds could knock down power lines and ignite a fire that would spread quickly due to dry conditions, the lawsuit indicated.

The lawsuit seeks damages from HECO that may total tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, according to John Fiske, an attorney representing the County of Maui.

A representative from HECO did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

– CNN’s Paradise Afshar contributed to reporting.


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