Manuel's actions have been scrutinized in the wake of the devastating fires; he has reportedly been reassigned ahead of an investigation. Other outlets have managed to engage on the matter without resorting to bigoted tropes. As noted elsewhere, these “conflicts are rooted in the diversion of water by large plantations, which starved downstream users.” Hawaii Gov. Josh Green added:
“One thing that people need to understand especially those from far away is that there’s been a great deal of water conflict on Maui for many years,” Green said. “It’s important that we’re honest about this. People have been fighting against the release of water to fight fires. I’ll leave that to you to explore.”
“We have a difficult time on Maui and other rural areas getting enough water for houses, for our people, for any response,” Green added. “But it’s important we start being honest. There are currently people still fighting in our state giving us water access to fight and prepare for fires even as more storms arise.”
Green said the state is in the midst of a “comprehensive review” by Attorney General Anne Lopez of decisions made before and during the firefighting efforts.
“There will be multiple reviews at every level,” he said.