Crews on schedule with complex wildfire debris removal effort in Upcountry Maui
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues to make progress with its debris removal operations for Maui Upcountry properties.
Corps teams and contractors are in phase two of the process, which includes the clearing of structural ash and debris and the continued testing for toxins.
As of Monday, two of 21 properties have been cleared with another crew working on a third.
Organizers maintain the cleanup is thorough as all gathered materials are wrapped and covered before being taken to the Central Maui landfill.
Six inches of soil is also removed and soil left on property is tested to meet Department of Health standards.
“That ensures that we’re making sure that there’s nothing left that was impacted by this fire,” said USACE debris subject matter expert Cory Koger.
“I think it’s also important to note that the entire time we’re doing work Upcountry and/or in Lahaina, we’ll have cultural observers and if required, an archaeological monitor at all times.”
Koger’s goal is to have all properties cleared by the middle of next month, barring any difficulties with a complex terrain.
“There’s a gulch that lines 10 of the properties that’s immediately adjacent to,” Koger said. “So we’ll have to figure out what equipment we can get in there to do debris removal, almost on a 45-degree slope.”
Starting Thursday, the county will host weekly meetings with impacted Upcountry residents.
This week’s session is 6 p.m. at the Kula School cafeteria.
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