NATIONAL NEWS

Hawaii is placing wildfire detection sensors statewide in wake of deadly Lahaina fire

Mar 9, 2024, 10:46 AM

An aerial image taken on August 10, 2023 shows destroyed homes and buildings burned to the ground i...

An aerial image taken on August 10, 2023 shows destroyed homes and buildings burned to the ground in Lahaina during massive wildfires in western Maui, Hawaii. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images via CNN Newsource)

(Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images via CNN Newsource)

LAHAINA, Hawaii– Fire detection sensors are being placed around Maui and other Hawaiian islands to respond more quickly when wildfires break out, Gov. Josh Green announced Friday.

At a news conference, Maui Mayor Richard Bissen said, “The introduction of an early detection system will give our first responders a critical advantage in protecting our community. With this new technology, detecting fires at the very early phases will save lives.”

About 80 wildfire sensors are being strategically placed around the state with the first 20 sensors on Maui expected to be active by April 8, according to US Fire Administrator Lori Moore-Merrell.

The sensors can detect heat and rely on artificial intelligence and smart learning to distinguish anomalies like smoke particles and gases produced by fires from different elements regularly found in the air around Hawaii, including volcanic ash and salt from ocean, explained DHS Undersecretary for Science and Technology, Dimitri Kusnezov.

“We barbecue a lot here, so he’s adjusted the technology to be just right,” quipped Green, prompting chuckles from those in attendance.

The sensors are placed in “strings” which facilitate them “talking to each other,” according to Maui Fire Chief Brad Ventura. The first two strings will be placed in Haleakala and Lahaina.

Each sensor has a photovoltaic battery to automatically recharge and relies on cellular data to send a text message to fire officials when an issue arises.

The cost averages about $10 per acre and the initial influx of sensors is being paid for by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology, and the US Fire Administration, with no cost to the state, Moore-Merrell said.

The wildfire sensors are not the only change being implemented following the fatal fire that swept through Lahaina in August, killing 101 people. Emergency access roads are being added to the area as another safety measure, as the state works to rebuild Lahaina, according to Green. Additional evacuation routes are not just limited to Maui but are also being implemented on Oahu.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

An artist's illustration depicts Voyager 1 as it travels through interstellar space, or the space b...

Ashley Strickland, CNN

Voyager 1 is sending data back to Earth for the first time in 5 months

For the first time in five months, NASA engineers have received decipherable data from Voyager 1 after crafting a creative solution to fix a communication problem aboard humanity’s most distant spacecraft in the cosmos.

2 hours ago

WASHINGTON - APRIL 14:  Activists line Wisconsin Avenue during a vigil outside the residence of Vic...

Matthew Barakat, Associated Press

Jury deliberating in Iraq Abu Ghraib prison abuse civil case; contractor casts blame on Army

A lawyer for a military contractor being sued by three survivors of the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq says the plaintiffs are suing the wrong people.

4 hours ago

This image provided by the Topeka Zoo shows Karen, an ostrich at the Topeka Zoo in Topeka, Kan. The...

Associated Press

An adored ostrich at a Kansas zoo has died after swallowing a staff member’s keys

A beloved ostrich at the Topeka Zoo & Conservation Center in Kansas has died after swallowing a staff member's keys.

5 hours ago

Layton Utah temple photo show with others in Utah announced at West Jordan and Lehi...

KSL TV

Three temple locations, including West Jordan and Lehi, announced

Today, the locations for three temples — two in Utah, West Jordan and Lehi, and one in Florida — were announced.

5 hours ago

Some of Taylor Swift's most beloved songs are heart breaking -- and that can be helpful, experts sa...

Madeline Holcombe, CNN

Why everyone is crying to Taylor’s breakup songs

Fans were waiting with bated breath for the emotional torment they were sure would come from “The Tortured Poets Department,” Taylor Swift’s 11th studio album.

5 hours ago

FILE: A Brightline train is seen at the new MiamiCentral terminal during the inaugural trip from Mi...

Ken Ritter

Work starts on bullet train rail line from Sin City to the City of Angels

A $12 billion high-speed passenger rail line between Las Vegas and the Los Angeles area has started construction.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Hawaii is placing wildfire detection sensors statewide in wake of deadly Lahaina fire