A general view shows the aftermath of a wildfire in...

A general view shows the aftermath of a wildfire in Lahaina, Hawaii, Aug. 17, 2023. Hawaii lawmakers on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, approved funds for more firefighting equipment and a state fire marshal after the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century ripped through the historic Maui town of Lahaina and exposed shortcomings in the state's readiness for such flames. Credit: AP/Jae C. Hong

HONOLULU — Hawaii lawmakers on Wednesday appropriated funds for more firefighting equipment and a state fire marshal after the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century ripped through the historic Maui town of Lahaina and exposed shortcomings in the state's readiness for such flames.

The House and Senate passed the measures during their first legislative session since the Aug. 8 wildfire killed 101 people. They now go to Gov. Josh Green for his consideration.

Climate change has been boosting drought in Hawaii, drying the archipelago's vegetation and increasing the risks of destructive blazes. Wildfires were once rare in Hawaii but they have grown in frequency in recent years.

Last year, just months after the Maui blaze, a wildfire burned a large part of the Oahu Forest National Wildlife Refuge about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Honolulu.

“I think that the biggest game changer is now, Hawaii is viewed as a wildfire state," Rep. Kyle Yamashita, the chairperson of the House Finance Committee, told reporters after the bills passed. “So we have to change our policies and procedures and what our departments have to do to mitigate some of the fuel and those kind of different things.”

New funding includes:

Lawmakers also appropriated $1 billion to cover various costs stemming from the Lahaina disaster, including $500 million for emergency housing for displaced residents and $124 million in rental assistance for those ineligible for aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

A Chinook helicopter scoops up water from the ocean near...

A Chinook helicopter scoops up water from the ocean near Lahaina, Hawaii, Aug. 16, 2023. Hawaii lawmakers on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, approved funds for more firefighting equipment and a state fire marshal after the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century ripped through the historic Maui town of Lahaina and exposed shortcomings in the state's readiness for such flames. Credit: AP/Jae C. Hong

The budget includes $65 million for a victims relief fund established for those who lost family members or suffered severe injury. Hawaiian Electric Industries, landowner Kamehameha Schools and Maui County are also contributing to the fund.

House Speaker Scott Saiki, a Democrat, said his caucus addressed Maui's immediate needs and then the state's broader needs to face climate change.

“You’ve seen the maps - the fire zones, sea level rise, there’s always a risk of hurricane,” Saiki told reporters. "We need to learn how to deal with with these and prevent losses, mitigate losses, and just be prepared for the future.”

The cause of the Lahaina wildfire is still under investigation. The U.S Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is expected to produce a report on the cause before the one-year anniversary of the blaze.

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