The Hawaiian Electric grid’s electrical problems have been connected to a recent spate of wildfires on Maui, Hawaii; video evidence supports this theory. A dazzling flash and a forest fire were seen on camera by the Maui Bird Conservation Center’s security system last Monday. The incident was linked to data from sensors in the nearby town of Makawao, which indicated a major disturbance in the grid’s functioning, according to Whisker Labs, a firm that keeps an eye on electrical grids around the country.

This “flash,” which appears to be a “arc flash,” is captured on camera. An arc flash is the kind of “fault” that happens to a power line when it comes into touch with vegetation or another line, causing electricity to be released as sparks. This flash coincided with sensor data that suggested a grid issue. Senior research coordinator Jennifer Pribble of the conservation center surmised that a tree that fell might have caused a power line to malfunction, which would have set off a forest fire.

The occurrence validates reports that multiple wildfires in the area were caused by problems with the grid, especially when strong winds swept through grasslands affected by drought. The Makawao fire was one of several that broke out on August 7 and 8, albeit it was not the same as the one that burned Lahaina. One of the deadliest U.S. wildfires in more than a century, the Lahaina fire has devastated properties and taken many lives.

The data from sensors located throughout Maui, according to Whisker Labs CEO Bob Marshall, “strongly suggests” that utility grid problems were probably the cause of the many wildfires that started. The company that supplies electricity to Maui, Hawaiian Electric, has not acknowledged or addressed this connection, preferring to concentrate on long-term recovery plans, emergency response, and power restoration.

Hawaiian Electric has apparently received complaints from locals and conservationists concerning the utility’s outdated infrastructure, which includes power cables and poles across areas that are prone to wildfires. The occurrences highlight the significance of maintaining and modernizing utility infrastructure in order to prevent and lessen such catastrophic events, even though investigations are still underway. The utility has come under fire for not putting power shut-off procedures in place, as other states’ utilities have done, to stop fires during high-risk situations.