MAKAKILO, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
The cost for fighting the wildfire in Makakilo that started four days ago is mounting. Both the city and the state sent crews to battle the blaze which has now charred about 1,000 acres.
Troy Wright apologized on Saturday after his seven-year-old twin boys started the wildfire with a lighter they found outside their home. The flames caused minor damage to one man's house and estimated losses of up to $75,000 at a cattle ranch.
The bill for water drops and personnel provided by the Department of Land and Natural Resources on Saturday and Sunday totals more than $54,000. A spokesman for the Honolulu Fire Department said the agency's firefighting costs are built into its budget, but there may be some additional expenses.
"I don't think the city is going to go after the parents for these two seven-year-olds. I don't know. But someone who had property damage or sustained crop damage, they may be looking to somebody to reimburse them if their own insurance doesn't cover it," said attorney Jeff Portnoy.
Portnoy said whether or not the parents can be held liable depends on any negligence.
"Did they leave the kids unsupervised? Were there prior incidents where these kids were found playing with matches or fooling around with fire? Those are the things that are going to have to be developed," said Portnoy.
If the family has homeowner's insurance, that could cover any claims that are filed, according to Portnoy.
The family will take a safety course from the Honolulu Fire Department about the dangers of playing with fire.