Hawai‘i Wildfires Webpage Banner

Click here to visit MauiRecovers.org, Maui County's comprehensive source of information and resources for survivors of the Hawai‘i wildfires.
The West Maui Temporary Debris Storage (TDS) site was designed and constructed to accommodate rain events and to prevent any toxins associated with fire debris from entering groundwater or the ocean.  For additional perspective, a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan was developed for this TDS site in accordance with regulatory requirements including Hawaii Administrative Rules and Honolulu Storm Water Best Management Practice Manual.  Best management practices (BMPs) to control stormwater include drainage channels, check dams, and wattles placed in locations to optimize risk reduction.  Further, in response to this rain event, USACE installed additional protective measures to further address elevated runoff.

Latest News

JFO, RFO, EFO one mission; one Ohana – USACE employees deploy to assist Maui recovery from the wildfires
12/28/2023
When fire ravished the historic towns of Lahaina and Kula, Hawai’i, on the island of Maui in August 2023, the Federal Emergency Management Agency was one of the first agencies on the site to assist...
Lahaina wildfire debris cleanup soon moving into Phase 2
12/26/2023
The Consolidated Debris Removal Program in Lahaina, Maui for the cleanup from the Hawaii Wildfires will soon move in to Phase 2 of the mission which will involve the removal of fire-related debris...
Hawaii wildfires leave lithium battery hazard in debris
12/21/2023
The wildfires in Hawaii that resulted in loss of life and property on the island of Maui not only left Lahaina and Kula with fire debris, but also left properties with household hazardous waste or...
Breadth of GIS science capabilities aiding Hawaiʻi Wildfire response
12/9/2023
A combined federal, state, and local disaster such as the 2023 Hawaiʻi Wildfire mission has a lot of moving parts. There are temporary power, critical public facility, temporary housing, and debris...
USACE making steady progress with temporary school in Lahaina
12/6/2023
LAHAINA, Hawai‘i -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is progressing with the construction of the temporary elementary school campus in Lahaina. Crews have completed clearing and grading the site...
Soil sample collection begins in Hawaiʻi Wildfire debris removal mission
11/30/2023
The first soil samples were collected at a property site cleared of debris by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Kula, marking a milestone with the Hawaiʻi Wildfires Debris Mission, Nov. 18, 2023.If...
USACE progressing on temporary school in Lahaina
11/28/2023
The wind-driven wildfires that devastated Maui left elementary students in the historic town of Lahaina without an elementary school.The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers went into action after receiving a...
USACE prepares site for temporary elementary school in Lahaina
11/27/2023
Site work recently began for the installation of a temporary elementary school in Lahaina, Maui, to replace one lost in the Aug. 8, 2023, Hawaiʻi Wildfires...
USACE temporary housing team lays groundwork for those displaced by Maui wildfires
11/13/2023 UPDATED
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers received a $1.9 million Federal Emergency Management Agency mission assignment Oct. 28 to provide conceptual design for temporary housing sites. Once a design is...
USACE receives temporary housing mission from FEMA
11/9/2023
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers received a $1.9 million Federal Emergency Management Agency mission assignment Oct. 28 to provide conceptual design for temporary housing sites. Upon design approval,...
USACE awards $53.7 million contract to Pono Aina Management for temporary elementary school construction
11/6/2023
HONOLULU — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $53.7 million base contract Nov. 4, to Pono Aina Management, LLC, an 8(a) Native Hawaiian Organization, based out of Waianae, Hawai'i, to...
Paws for comfort
10/25/2023 UPDATED
To help employees overcome some of the challenges associated with disaster events, USACE deploys the Critical Incident Stress Management program. CISM is a peer-driven stress management program that...
Enterprise Emergency Response Team, keeping team members connected
10/20/2023
During disaster recovery, technology is foundational for a mission’s success. Ensuring U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ employees have access to the tools they need to accomplish tasks while deployed, is...
USACE awards $52.5 million site assessment, debris removal contract to Dawson Solutions
10/17/2023 UPDATED
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $52.5 million contract Oct. 16 for Hazardous Site Assessments for Household Material and Bulk Asbestos Removal in Lahaina and Kula/Olinda to Dawson...
USACE awards $19 million cultural monitoring contract to AEPAC
10/16/2023 UPDATED
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $18.7 million contract today to AEPAC, based out of Honolulu, for cultural monitoring of the debris-related Federal Emergency Management Agency missions...
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractors place the last of the 336 modulars comprising 38 buildings at the temporary school site in Lahaina, Hawai‘i, Jan. 29. USACE is constructing the school as a temporary replacement for the King Kamehameha III Elementary School, which was damaged by the Aug. 8, 2023, wildfires that displaced more than 600 students. USACE anticipates that the temporary school will be handed over to the Hawai‘i State Department of Education for furnishing and installation of telecommunication equipment by the end of February 2024.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractor removes debris from a residence in Lahaina, Hawai‘i, Feb. 1. USACE is overseeing the debris removal mission under a Federal Emergency Management Agency mission assignment which is part of a coordinated effort with the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency, Maui County and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to clean up areas of the island affected by the Aug. 8, 2023, wildfires. (Photo by Erin Jimenez)
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractors conduct vessel debris removal operations near the harbor in Lahaina, Hawai‘i, Jan. 27. To ensure debris removal operations are conducted safely, there is significant coordination and safety planning between USACE and the contractor performing the work. USACE is overseeing the debris removal mission under a Federal Emergency Management Agency assigned mission, which is part of a coordinated effort with the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency, Maui County and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to clean up areas of the island affected by the Aug. 8, 2023, wildfires. (Photo by Robert DeDeaux)
Justin Lind, quality assurance, monitoring the construction of the Temporary Disposal Site (TDS) outside Lahaina in support of the Maui Wildfires.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Temporary School Mission Manager, Kara Vick speaks with a teacher from the from King Kamehameha III Elementary School in Lahaina, following a pule and ceremony at the school, Jan. 8. The school, which saw generations of Lahaina students educated in its classrooms, was among the thousands of buildings destroyed in an August 8, 2023 wildfire. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is executing the mission to remove debris caused by the wildfires and constructing the temporary school.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Critical Public Facilities Mission Manager Kara Vick speaks with Hawaii Department of Education Engineer Laura Wahmann Jan. 4, 2024 in Lahaina, Hawaii. In support of the State of Hawai‘i and the state Department of Education, USACE is providing technical assistance, engineering expertise and construction management for the construction of the temporary campus for students who were displaced by the wildfires that damaged and rendered the school unusable. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Charles Delano)
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Critical Public Facilities Administrative Contracting Officer Al Meyer takes a measurement with Brenda Lowrey with the Hawaii Department of Education, Jan. 4, 2024 in Lahaina, Hawaii. In support of the State of Hawai‘i and the state Department of Education, USACE is providing technical assistance, engineering expertise and construction management for the construction of the temporary campus for students who were displaced by the wildfires that damaged and rendered the school unusable. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Charles Delano)
Concrete is placed in forms in the covered area at the temporary school, Dec. 29, 2023, in Lahaina, Hawaii. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is proceeding with a FEMA mission assignment to support the state of Hawai'i and the state Department of Education to design and oversee the installation of a temporary elementary school campus for the Lahaina community. As of Dec. 23, 2023, the first two rows of classrooms have been set with work commencing on the third row for a total of 20 classrooms and two restrooms set. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Charles Delano)
A contractor smooths concrete that is placed in the covered area at the temporary school, Dec. 29, 2023, in Lahaina, Hawaii. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is proceeding with a FEMA mission assignment to support the state of Hawai'i and the state Department of Education to design and oversee the installation of a temporary elementary school campus for the Lahaina community. As of Dec. 23, 2023, the first two rows of classrooms have been set with work commencing on the third row for a total of 20 classrooms and two restrooms set. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Charles Delano)
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hawaii Wildfires Recovery Mission team, along with federal, state, and local partners, are finishing out Phase II of debris removal in Kula, Maui. The removal process began once hazardous tree assessments were completed by registered foresters and arborists in the impacted areas. Arborists tie ropes around a healthy tree which the use to pull the snag upright into a safe position. Only trees that pose an imminent threat of falling into the public right of way or present a hazard to workers or the work zone will be removed. (USACE Photo by Brigida I. Sanchez)

Debris Call Center

Debris Call Center (877) 214-9117

Fire Debris Removal

According to the Pacific Disaster Center, the August 2023 Maui Wildfires Disaster damaged or destroyed more than 2200 Maui properties. The cleanup is requiring a coordinated fire debris removal cleanup that includes Maui County, the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The cleanup process includes two phases. Phase 1 is removal of hazardous materials; Phase 2 is removal of other fire-related debris.

The County of Maui will oversee priorities during the fire cleanup while working in partnership with state and federal agencies who are here to support the community with this process.

Consolidated Debris Removal Program

Consolidated Debris Removal Program

In coordination with the County of Maui and the State of Hawai‘i, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has assigned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to survey, remove and dispose of hazardous material from all properties impacted by the wildfires in Lahaina, Kula and Olinda.

Phase 1 of the debris removal process is the removal of hazardous materials that may impact human health, animals and the environment through exposure. Hazardous materials could include compressed gas cylinders, pesticides, paints, oils, fertilizers, ammunition and batteries (including lithium-ion batteries, particularly household solar battery storage systems). These items can contain hazardous ingredients and require special handling and disposal. For this effort, an initial EPA team will survey each property for work conditions, then a second EPA team will remove hazardous materials. A sign will be placed on each property indicating the status. 

EPA is deeply aware and respectful of the immense cultural significance of the area. EPA has partnered with Native Hawaiian organization Nā 'Aikāne o Maui to hire local cultural monitors and archaeologists familiar with the community of Lahaina to oversee and advise on EPA’s Phase I work.  

EPA has developed an online resource tool that provides information on the process of hazardous materials removal and to answer questions on progress and completion status. For more information, visit Story Maps here.

Phase 2 is the removal of the remaining structural ash and debris as well as soil testing to ensure the site is clean, safe for rebuilding and free of potentially leached toxins. Phase 2 cleanup can only initiate after Phase I hazardous materials removal is complete.

The County of Maui, State of Hawai‘i, FEMA and local officials will coordinate with the U.S Army Corps of Engineers to offer a government-sponsored debris removal program. The program will allow the Corps to conduct the safe removal and handling of fire-damaged debris from destroyed properties. Cultural awareness of the impacted communities is a top priority for the Corps. Cultural monitors guide the entire process to ensure outside agencies respect the community, culture and recovery efforts. 

To obtain service through the government-sponsored program, a property owner must complete a Right-of-Entry (ROE) form  to allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to clean up a property. No removal of fire-damaged material will begin on private property without the permission of the property owner. The County is working to finalize the ROE form and open a Debris Removal ROE Processing Center in the coming days. County staff will be on hand at the ROE Processing Center to assist residents with filling out the appropriate paperwork for the voluntary fire debris removal program.

In exchange for the debris removal performed through the government-sponsored program, the property owner agrees that any insurance proceeds in their homeowner's insurance policy designated for debris removal will be assigned to the government agency managing the debris removal process. Property owners are not required to pay any additional money to the government agency other than designated debris proceeds in their policies. In no event shall the amount of insurance proceeds paid to the government agency exceed the costs charged by its contractor. In the event a property needs additional debris removal after the government agency's contractor has completed the removal under the ROE, all expenses incurred by a property owner for such additional removal will be paid first, and the remainder (if any) will be turned over to the managing government agency.

Property owners who choose not to participate in the government-sponsored debris removal program must hire a private contractor to remove fire debris and clean up properties. Private debris removal is done at the homeowner’s expense and must meet or exceed the standards set by local, state and federal agencies. This includes compliance with all legal requirements for disposal, authorized disposal sites, best management practices for activities on site, proper transportation and documentation of debris, soil testing and erosion control. The County is currently working to develop the process, guidance documents and forms for private fire debris removal and will have the information published soon.

Preparing now to sign up for the government-sponsored debris removal program

The County of Maui is working with federal and state partners in a program to facilitate safe removal and handling of burn debris and ash. To obtain this service, homeowners must complete the proper paperwork to allow these agencies to clean up their properties. To learn more about the Right-of-Entry process please review the following: 

Documents and information needed for submittal of the Debris Removal Right-of-Entry Permit:

This ROE can be submitted to ROE@mauirecovers.org OR send the physical copy of the ROE and accompanying documents to:

Public Works Department
Attn: ROE intake
200 S. High Street
Wailuku, HI 96793

What is the process for cleanup and removal of fire debris?

Fire debris removal is broken down into two phases:

Phase 1: Hazardous Materials Removal is the removal of hazardous materials that may impact human health, animals and the environment through exposure. In coordination with the County of Maui and the State of Hawai‘i, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has assigned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to survey, remove and dispose of hazardous material from all properties impacted by the wildfires in Lahaina, Kula and Olinda.

Hazardous materials could include compressed gas cylinders, pesticides, paints, oils, fertilizers, ammunition and batteries (including lithium-ion batteries, particularly household solar battery storage systems). These items can contain hazardous ingredients and require special handling and disposal.

Phase 2:  Fire Debris Removal is the removal of the remaining structural ash and debris and may include soil testing. The County of Maui, State of Hawai‘i, FEMA and local officials will coordinate with the U.S Army Corps of Engineers to offer a Consolidated Debris Removal Program. The program will allow the Corps to conduct the safe removal and handling of fire-damaged debris from destroyed properties. 

A private fire debris removal process will be established for those who want to opt out of the Consolidated Debris Removal Program. The County is currently working to develop the process, guidance documents and forms for private contractor fire debris removal and will have the information published soon.

Is participation in both Phase 1 and 2 of the debris removal process mandatory?

Yes, fire-impacted properties with eligible debris are required to complete both Phase I and II of the program.

For Phase 1, all properties are required to have hazardous materials and waste removed. These items can be hazardous and require special handling and disposal. The EPA will complete this process for all fire-impacted properties. Phase 1 of the Program is being conducted at no cost to property owners.

Phase 2 debris removal by the Corps is optional; however, properties that opt out of this option are still required to provide for the timely removal of hazardous debris fields, and deadlines will be set by the County. Removal by a private contractor is authorized but must be done at the homeowner’s expense, and work done must meet or exceed the standards set by local, state and federal agencies. This includes compliance with all legal requirements for handling, disposal at authorized disposal sites, soil sampling and transportation. In addition, best management practices must be utilized along with work activity documentation and erosion control. 

What debris is eligible for Phase 2 of the Consolidated Debris Removal Program?

Agreements are still being finalized, however it is expected that Phase II will include debris and ash removal related to any structures on residential properties that are at least 120 square feet. Driveways will be retained as much as possible, both for possible reuse and also to serve as a staging area for debris removal and rebuilding equipment. In many cases, concrete driveways have been weakened as a result of the heat from the fire and may crack easily during this phase.

How will I know that the process has started and completed?

Phase I is currently underway; EPA will post a sign on each property when hazardous waste removal is complete, and will also notify the broader community when hazardous materials removal is completed in an entire neighborhood. View EPA’s online resource tool, which provides information on their process, progress and completion status: bit.ly/EPAprogress    

Once a Right-of-Entry (ROE) form is signed for Phase 2, Army Corps employees will contact homeowners that are enrolled in the Consolidated Debris Removal Program via phone 24-48 hours in advance to provide notice of work start times. The Corps’ contractor is required to provide the Corps a formal report of completion. The Corps will provide those reports to the county, and the county will notify homeowners. A Phase 2 map, showing progress, will be published once work gets underway.

How much will Phase 2 cost?

If you had insurance in effect at the time of the wildfire that provides coverage for debris removal, it is required that those funds, if not used for rebuilding, go toward reimbursement of Program costs. In most cases, the cost of debris removal will be greater than the insurance available. Reimbursement amount will not exceed the costs of debris removal on your specific property. If coverage for debris removal is not a separate insurance category, any reimbursement for debris removal will be limited to the unused benefit amount (if any) in that coverage category after the residence is rebuilt. If the full amount of general coverage is used for rebuilding, you will not be responsible for any reimbursement.

If you participate in Phase 2 of the program, we recommend that you consult with your insurance carrier to confirm how much is dedicated to debris removal. If your site will require private debris removal in addition to what is covered under Phase 2 of the Consolidated Debris Removal Program, you can use your debris insurance proceeds to cover those costs, and will only be expected to provide the remainder (if any) to reimburse the Program. If you do not have insurance the Program will be provided at no cost. 

How do I sign up for Phase 2 of the Debris Removal Program?

Property owners must sign up by completing a Right-of-Entry (ROE) form. No removal of non-hazardous, fire-damaged material will begin on private property without the permission of the property owner. 

 

Critical Public Facilities: Temporary Elementary School

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers received a mission assignment Sept. 13 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to support the State of Hawai‘i and the state Department of Education to design and oversee the installation of a temporary elementary school campus for the Lahaina community. The site will serve as an interim solution after the loss of King Kamehameha III Elementary School in the Aug. 8 wildfires. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and our Critical Public Facilities experts are proud to partner with the state on this important project and to deliver for the children and community of Lahaina. The base contract for $53.7 million was awarded to Pono Aina Management, LLC, of Waianae, Hawai‘i, on Nov. 4, 2023 with the Notice to Proceed issued Nov. 20, 2023. We anticipate that the temporary school will be handed over to the Department of Education for furnishing and installation of telecommunication equipment by the end of February 2024.

Consolidated Process for Temporary Elementar School Installation

 

 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is working in partnership with local, state and federal responders to the Hawai‘i wildfires. USACE personnel and resources are deployed, and we are coordinating our efforts with partners in the affected areas. Though USACE brings unique capabilities to emergency responses, we are just one small piece of a much larger Army and Department of Defense team working to support the community and our partners.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is dedicated to minimizing risks to public safety and respecting the people, culture and environment of Hawai‘i.

At this time, our subject matter experts have been working under FEMA mission assignments to support critical public facilities by designing and overseeing the installation of a temporary school, as well as debris planning and response missions. At the outset of the disaster, our temporary power team also provided generator power to affected areas across Maui.

Our hearts go out to all who have been impacted by this disaster, and we are committed to leveraging our experience, resources, and outreach to help the communities heal and recover. They can rest assured work involving our debris removal mission on private property will not begin until it is agreed upon by residents and business owners who opt-in to the program. We encourage checking this page often for updates and critical information.

Contact Information

Maui Disaster Support Call Center
Provided by the State of Hawai‘i and Maui County as a central assistance hub for community members affected by the Hawai‘i wildfires.
(808) 727-1550
Available 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
 
Contracting Division
 
Small Business Office
(808) 835-4020
sb.poh@usace.army.mil
 
General Inquiries for the

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
(808) 835-4003
CEPOH-PA@usace.army.mil

Members of the Media
(808) 835-4062

Media

To obtain photos, videos and b-roll packages, visit our media portal at https://www.dvidshub.net/unit/USACE-HD.