(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — Two members of PA Task Force 1 are deploying to Maui Friday to help assist federal search and rescue efforts from the deadly wildfires that have killed more than 50 people so far.
The search of the wildfire wreckage on the Hawaiian island of Maui on Thursday revealed a wasteland of burned-out homes and obliterated communities, Nexstar reported.
As of Friday morning, 55 people have died. The wildfires are the state’s deadliest natural disaster since a 1960 tsunami that killed 61 people.
The two members of PA Task Force 1 will deploy to Maui, Hawaii, as part of a 28-member Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Incident Support Team (IST).
The team will coordinate other federal search and rescue teams that are also being deployed to support the search and rescue efforts.
Hawaii has suffered extensive damage to its infrastructure from the catastrophic wildfires over the past several days, leaving dozens dead and hundreds missing.
Deployed staff are expected to begin working in Hawaii as early as Sunday, August 13; they will be there for about two weeks.
“Pennsylvania is exceptionally proud to have these two Task Force members deploying to play a part in assisting with coordinated recovery efforts in Hawaii,” Director Randy Padfield said. “I want to wish these responders a safe deployment and a speedy return to their loved ones in Pennsylvania, and we extend our gratitude to the families and employers supporting them throughout their deployments. We are keeping the families of those who lost loved ones and everyone affected in our thoughts and prayers during this devastating time.”
PA Task Force 1 is one of more than two dozen federal US&R teams across the country that are part of the FEMA US&R system.