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Hawaii Wildfires: 114 Confirmed Dead, 850 Still Missing

Hawaii Wildfires: 114 Confirmed Dead, 850 Still Missing

Hawaii governor is still trying to tie climate change into the cause of the wildfires.

Authorities have confirmed 114 deaths from the Hawaii wildfires, but the death toll could climb since 850 people remain missing.

Democrat Gov. Josh Green told CBS News that there are 1000 missing. Unfortunately, people might not ever find those missing:

GOV. GREEN: More than 1000 are unaccounted for, about 1050. It will take several weeks, still, some of the challenges are going to be extraordinary. As you reported, 85% of the- of the land of the impact zone has been covered now by what amounts to an army of search and rescue teams and 41 dogs. So 85% of the land has been covered. Now we go into the larger buildings, which require peeling back some of the floors and structures. That last 15% could take weeks. We do have extreme concerns that because of the temperature of the fire, the remains of those who have died, in some cases, may be impossible to recover meaningfully. So there are going to be people that are lost forever. And right now we’re working obviously with the FBI and everyone on the ground to make sure that we do what we can to assess who’s missing.

Unfortunately, Green is also pushing the climate change narrative despite the fact that is not what happened:

MARGARET BRENNAN: So just to be clear, when you’re talking about global warming, are you saying that climate change amplified the cost of human error?

GOV. GREEN: Yes, it did. There’s always going to be incredible things that people do to save lives, from the firefighters, from citizens. And there’s always going to be decisions that are made that I’m sure aren’t perfect in the moment. And- but when you have fire that move more than a mile a minute, and what happened I’m told by some of the survivors, they were at the initial fire. It was put out sometime late in the afternoon in Lahaina, and then the firefighters had to go to three other fires that had started because of the conditions. When they left the fire started up again. And then when the storm winds from Dora, which were that strong, swept it out, it just destroyed everything. So, there’s no excuses to ever be made. But there are finite- there are finite resources sometimes in the moment.

As Leslie pointed out, Hawaiian Electric told the public “about wildfire risks assessed after hurricane-based winds contributed to a 2018 blaze.”

However, Hawaiian Electric also had to move “resources away from fire safety support in order to meet state-required green energy mandates.”

As Leslie concluded, fighting supposed man-made climate change (the climate is changing but that’s because it has always changed since the beginning of the planet) contributed to the disaster:

When you have limited capital, choices have to be made. However, Hawaiian Electric may have made different choices if woke legislators adhering to climate change theology didn’t mandate the drive to renewables.

Equity considerations are apparently another contributing factor in this disaster. A state water official delayed the release of water that landowners wanted to help protect their property from fires, because water is to be revered and not used.


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The buck passing is impressive. The legislature, despite repeated warnings and requests for funds over a decade, didn’t provide funds proactively remove brush and debris. The utility (a monopoly lets not forget) was not forced to perform maintenance in/around their power lines nor upgrade their transmission infrastructure. The govt turned down a request for water to released to fight the damn fire for five hours. The local PD blocked the road at both ends which is why you see images of burned out vehicles bumper to bumper like the ‘highway of death’. (There’s only one road in and out) The govt didn’t use the sirens instead relying upon phone alert system which didn’t work due to power outage.

This was a catastrophic failure of govt at every turn. The Gov is now talking about somehow acquiring the land for govt use to implement his d/prog lefty fantasy. The climate excuse is to dodge their multiple failures.

I inherited a condo in Lahaina but was fortunate to sell it this spring so I am paying more attention to this story than others. I would urge you to make this event and the laundry list of govt failures exhibit A in telling your own set of politicians why govt can’t be relied upon to do the right things and must be pared back to the traditional essential functions with heavy public oversight of the very few things we should allow govt employees (aka public servants though many bureaucrats need reminding) to perform. Full transparency and public involvement at every step.

    Dathurtz in reply to CommoChief. | August 21, 2023 at 12:55 pm

    Sadly, government work has real consequences. In a world where so much doesn’t really matter, the competence and integrity of the agents of government matters more than almost anything else. Woe unto us in these times.

    Otto Kringelein in reply to CommoChief. | August 21, 2023 at 1:35 pm

    The utility (a monopoly lets not forget) was not forced to perform maintenance in/around their power lines nor upgrade their transmission infrastructure.

    Oh please, I suspect it was a combination of idiotic environmental law/rules that didn’t allow Hawaiian Electric to adequately deal with the vegetation around and under their transmission towers/lines and a “utility commission” that consistently denied the utllities any rate increases to pay for necessary maintenece/upgrades to their physical plant and the even more idotic “green agenda” that wasted resources and money to actually do anything.

    Saw the same thing in California where wildfires ran rampant (and still do in the dry hot season) where the blame was shifted from California state government to PG&E. Because it’s never the governments fault.

    So they weren’t forced to do it? More likely they were prevented from doing it. And now the state government of Hawaii is shifting the blame to the utility.

    Disgusting. Just disgusting.

      CommoChief in reply to Otto Kringelein. | August 21, 2023 at 4:52 pm

      The uncontested facts remain. The power utility, HI Electric, is a monopoly. The areas in/around the powerlines were not cleared. HI Electric did not upgrade/modernize their transmission infrastructure. Other factors at work and other govt failures as well.

      Were there weirdo environmentalist groups who pressured regulators or the legislature or the executive branch or used the CT system to try and prevent these actions? Sure.

      Were there weirdo environmentalist members of the legislature, executive branch, regulatory bodies and the judiciary who didn’t require much if any pressure to give in to the weirdo environmentalist demands? Almost certainly.

      Here’s the bottom line with monopolies granted by the govt. Neither the public nor the market can oversee or influence the monopoly once the govt grants that status. Whatever the monopoly utility does, fails to do, is required by its govt masters to do or is prevented by its govt masters from doing falls onto the govt which granted that monopoly.

      IOW the monopoly utility is effectively a part of the govt.

    JackinSilverSpring in reply to CommoChief. | August 21, 2023 at 1:54 pm

    You are entirely correct about the multiple human failures that caused and contributed to this catastrophe. For the Governor to blame climate change is absolute chutzpah. Moreover, even if this catastrophe was caused by climate change (the probability of which is slim to none) why didn’t the government take the necessary steps to counter any of the effects of climate change, such as cut the grass, reinforce telephone poles with high voltage lines, and get homeowners and landlords to reduce the flammability of structures? Let us be frank: this was a major, major failure of government at all levels, and the Governor’s excuse is just a cover for his incompetence.

2smartforlibs | August 21, 2023 at 11:48 am

Yet the stoners are only worried about Ukraine independence day.

M. Kaleo Manuel should go to prison. Instead, he just gets reassigned. Government incompetence and criminality at its worst.

“Hawaii governor is still trying to tie climate change into the cause of the wildfires.”

He’s kind of right, in a roundabout kind of way. Implementing Net Zero policies to “combat climate change” will cause disasters and kill people!

E Howard Hunt | August 21, 2023 at 2:21 pm

The authorities had best safeguard Obama’s birth certificate by transporting it to the mainland.

Many of the missing are children.

They are mostly children and they were fried buy the incompetent politicians

Does this town (or ANY town in HI) have a fire protection system? I’ve never been to HI, so I couldn’t answer this question.

Many cities and towns in mainland US have a system of fire protection (a.k.a fire hydrants). In all of the news that I have read I do not recall any mention of a fire protection system. In places where I have lived, this is part of the municipal water system.

I would say that the high-rise buildings in the larger cities would surely require fire suppression systems, but this small town may not have such a system.

    CommoChief in reply to GLB. | August 22, 2023 at 9:10 am

    They ran out of water. They asked the State to release upstream water to them. The State refused the request for five hours.

      How about pumping sea water? Sure, it’s hard on the equipment, but you can fix the equipment.

        CommoChief in reply to GLB. | August 22, 2023 at 12:37 pm

        My thought as well for a stop gap. Not sure the trucks would have the pressure to do so over the distance required. Plus gotta worry about clogging up the pumps with weed or whatever. Render the truck pumps unusable and then they actually get normal water restored and that water availability wouldn’t do much good with no working fire trucks.

Notice how the government officials that screwed up so badly are native Hawaiians?

I’ve been to Guam. The native Guamanians, or Chamorro, do not have a long history of dealing with modern infrastructure, however, by their law, a large fraction (something like half) of public utility jobs are reserved for them.

Their newspaper has a statistic published every day above the fold that identifies the number of days that year in which a blackout occurred. Basically, every other day there is a blackout. Guam is not a large island, you can circumnavigate it on a bicycle in one day, and the population is a bit over 100k.

It doesn’t seem that it would be too difficult to keep the power on (this was long before the green energy craze). The luxury hotels (Guam is poor-man’s Hawaii for the Japanese) and the hospital and other critical infrastructure were equipped with commercial-scale generators because the power was so undependable.

I asked my brother who was living there at the time why they had such problems with power stability, and he told me that a lot of their engineers were natives, who did not have formal engineering training.

I do not wish to impugn native Hawaiians, but anyone in charge of water needs to put away this notion that water is a gift from the Gods and shall not be squandered on trivial things like preventing fires that result in large-scale casualties.

Hawaii is naturally quite wet anyway, with average rainfall at 25+”/year.

One more thing about this native Hawaiian water manager, M. Kaleo Manuel, who said, I quote, “We can share it, but it requires true conversations about equity.” No. You do not need to have ‘conversations’, you need clear policy, which can be hammered out ahead of time. When the emergency arrives, Kaleo needs to have a clear policy that tells him what must be done immediately, conversations be damned.