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A lawsuit was filed against three significant landowners in Hawaii, accusing them of contributing to a wildfire’s rapid spread, although the blaze did not originate on their properties.
Harold Wells, grieving the loss of his daughter Rebecca Rans in the recent Lahaina wildfire, alleges that the landowners’ failure to manage invasive grass species on their lands led to the fire’s quick escalation. These grasses are considered by scientists as a primary factor accelerating the fires, outpacing other influences such as rising temperatures or storm conditions. According to the lawsuit, once the flames, initiated by fallen power lines, reached the defendant’s properties filled with these grasses, it resulted in an uncontrollable firestorm that consumed homes, businesses, and escape paths.
David Minkin, representing Maui County, argued that the land attributed to the county hardly played a role in the incident.
The lawsuit seeks reparative measures, including unspecified punitive damages, funeral expenses, and compensation for the pain and suffering endured, laying a potential blueprint for future cases.