November 8, 2023, 4:06 PM HST
On Tuesday, contractors removed debris from a private property in Kula, marking the start of Phase 2 of the US Army Corps of Engineers’ debris removal program for Upcountry residents affected by the Aug. 8 wildfire.
David Darling was the first in Kula to have what was left of his burned home taken off his property.
“I am overjoyed that it’s getting cleaned up,” Darling said, according to the Army Corps. “I am hoping to rebuild and be back in my home by Halloween next year – that’s my goal right now, one year to rebuild.”
The Army Corps awarded a $500 million contract to California-based ECC, for the Phase 2 debris removal in Kula and Lahaina.
The debris removal could being in Kula because Phase 1, hazardous site assessments, were completed of 26 private properties burned in the Aug. 8 wildfire.
While the Army Corps could conduct the hazardous site assessments without permission of the property owner due to public health and safety reasons, right of entry forms must be signed for any work in Phase 2 to be done on private property.
The hazardous site assessment crews have been working at the Lahaina burn zone since Oct. 27.
For information about the US Army Corps of Engineers Hawai‘i wildfire response, visit www.poh.usace.army.mil/Missions/Emergency-Response/Hawaii-Wildfires/.