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Supplies are deliverd to Lahaina

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MAUI, HI.–One of the challenges that Indiana Task Force One has to deal with while they are in Hawaii helping with the search and rescue effort from the wildfires is being around hazardous materials.

“Well we have a hazmat division with us. They help us identify airborne or any other types of hazardous materials where we are working. The challenge is that because of the thorough burn with the wildfires that you don’t necessarily see the hazards the way you do on a residence fire because everything is so well-consumed, but we have the resources to get through it,” said Indiana Task Force One Leader Jay Settergren.

Settergren both his team and other agencies are trying to find the missing people, but so far they haven’t found anyone.

“We’re in the structures where those leads and information has led the search groups and then we’re assigned to work through those, so that’s how that works. The photos and videos we’ve seen on TV really don’t do it justice. You can’t really understand what the devastation is unless you see it in person,” said Settergren.

He says the work is slow and methodical because it takes time to clean up debris from areas that are heavily burned out. As for how long Indiana Task Force One will be there, that is still to be determined.

“We have a couple of teams that were initially here that will be transitioning out over the next few days. The ones that came in later will stay a little longer as needed,” said Settergren.

For a few members of the task force, this is their first time away from their families on a mission like this, but Settergren says they are handling it well.

“Some portions of our team didn’t deploy. They’ll go take care of things like babysitting, mowing lawns, or whatever the case may be,” said Settergren.

Settegren says they also have a family support unit for the Task Force members.

You can hear the interview with Settergren below.