Dramatic new video shows moment that could’ve started devastating Maui wildfires
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Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Shane Treu
Footage of a man fighting a fire across his street in Hawaii could be an indicator as to how the devastating Maui wildfires started.
An investigation is currently underway in the hopes of determining the cause of the deadly wildfires which have claimed the lives of at least 111 people.
Footage taken by Lahaina resident Shane Treu on 8 August may help shed some light on that. In the video, he's standing outside his home with a hose doing his part to put out fires, and a day later Hawaii's state government declared an emergency.
The video shows emergency services arriving on the scene as Shane keeps pointing out that a 'power line just went down', while expressing concern for a neighbor across the street.
At one point he directs the camera lens towards a particularly charred bit of ground opposite where a downed power line dangles and said 'see right there, that's the power line'.
A later video from Shane showed that the fire had spread even further just a few minutes later, and with more emergency services arriving on the scene, he could be heard shouting warnings that 'the power line is live'.
Lahaina was ravaged by the wildfire with aerial footage of the Hawaiian town taken by a helicopter tour operator showing the widespread destruction.
Hawaii governor Josh Green has warned that the final death toll could climb higher and said the next few weeks would be 'difficult going'.
Some Maui residents said they only had 'minutes to escape' before the wildfires claimed their homes, and that in many cases there's 'nothing left'.
Power company Hawaiian Electric is facing lawsuits over claims that the fire was started by their power lines coming down in strong winds.
CNN reports that one suit alleges they didn't shut the power down despite weather warnings.
The lawsuit claims that Hawaiian Electric 'chose not to deenergize their power lines during the High Wind Watch and Red Flag Warning conditions for Maui before the Lahaina Fire started'.
It has not yet been established what caused the wildfires, but the lawsuit goes on to allege the power company also 'chose not to deenergize their power lines after they knew some poles and lines had fallen and were in contact with the vegetation or the ground'.
Hawaiian Electric said they would work with those investigating the cause of the deadly wildfires.
Tourists have been warned to stay away from the affected areas, with Hawaii's tourism authority saying those who were in the area for 'non-essential travel' were being asked to leave.
For those wanting to help the relief efforts there are places to donate and groups set up to help people who have suffered through the devastating fires.
If you would like to donate to the Hawaii Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund, which is supporting communities affected by the wildfires, click here for more information.
You can also donate to the American Red Cross, which helps provide food, medical supplies, shelter and water to those impacted.