Questions Remain About Maui’s Warning System

The death toll for the fire that engulfed parts of the Hawaiian island of Maui has climbed to 80, officials said Friday.

The wildfires are the state’s deadliest natural disaster in decades.

Questions persist, however, about Maui’s warning systems and its apparent failure to warn residents in time.

County Mayor Richard Bissen said on NBC’s “The Today Show” that the fire moved incredibly quickly. He said, “I think this was an impossible situation.”

Hawaii’s attorney general, Anne Lopez, said her office will review Maui’s decisions and policies in connection with the wildfires.

“My department is committed to understanding the decisions that were made before and during the wildfires and to sharing with the public the results of this review,” she said in a statement Friday.

The historic centuries-old resort town of Lahaina seemed to have been consumed in minutes. The ferocity of the situation that the island faced likely caught everyone off guard with a deadly combination of wind and fire.

The death toll is expected to climb higher as search teams with cadaver dogs go into the island’s burned structures.

Authorities have warned the island’s residents that recovery will take years and billions of dollars.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.

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