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New technology used to design recovery plan as Phase 2 in Maui wildfire response begins : Maui Now

December 13, 2023, 6:00 PM HST

New technology is being used to collect data as wildfire recovery enters a new phase in West Maui. The Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency and the County of Maui are using the 3D technology to better visualize the extent of damage in Lahaina as they design a recovery plan.   

“Today we have available to planners a 3D virtual picture of the affected areas. Surveying the damage by using drones, high-tech tools and software technology by HI-EMA and Maui personnel helps to manage resources and develop a better solution to the many challenges facing the area,” HI-EMA Administrator James Barros said. “Previous mapping tools provided us only with a two-dimensional view of an affected area. It could only provide at best, an incomplete visualization of the situation. The 3D imaging helps to provide triage for the areas in question, while at the same time maximizing resources and experts.”

State official say visualizing and understanding the entire scope of the damaged area allows recovery partners  to find better solutions for the people of Lahaina. The data is being shared to a wide audience of experts and companies not only here in Hawai‘i but around the world.

Immediately after the fire’s devastation became known, companies including Honolulu-based 8th Axis Industrial, LLC contacted HI-EMA asking how it could help. The company offered its survey management data systems technology to provide contoured, layered mapping of the area. 


“Having a clearer image of this disaster scene is an exciting development for emergency managers,” Administrator Barros said. “While it is essential to have people on the ground looking over the scope of damage, not everyone can or should travel to the zone for a variety of reasons. This survey mesh and data layering helps us game plan with county, state, federal, private industry partners.”

“The devastation on Maui has reminded us that our lives can be turned upside-down in an instant,” said Governor Josh Green, M.D. “We appreciate the positive efforts of our government agencies, nonprofits and those in the business sector who are serving in any way they can to help our Maui ʻohana recover.”

Data will be continually updated for the next three years.

Source: Maui News

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