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An old car tire, burnt trees and a utility pole may be key in finding how the Maui wildfire spread 

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Investigative reporter Michael Biesecker, climate reporter Jennifer McDermott and investigative reporter Bernard Condon provided the most detailed picture yet of the probe into last month’s deadly Maui wildfire, showing how investigators are focusing on an overgrown gully beneath Hawaiian Electric Co. power lines and items that could have held on to smoldering embers for hours. 

Though federal and state investigators were tight lipped, Biesecker, Condon and McDermott, got insight into the probe from more than 950 exclusively obtained photos taken by plaintiffs’ lawyers who followed investigators around for days as they collected evidence and hauled it away to a warehouse. 

A day after AP’s story ran, Hawaiian Electric President Shelee Kimura said during a congressional hearing she didn’t know specific details about when the power stopped flowing through downed power lines, and that the utility’s position is that it is only responsible for trimming trees that are high enough to contact electric lines. 

The story, promoted by a push alert, was among the top items on the AP News app and ran prominently on such sites as ABC News, CBS News, NPR and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

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