HONOLULU (KHON2) — The second phase of cleanup in Lahaina, Olinda and Kula is one step closer to execution after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced the contract has been awarded to a Native Hawaiian contractor.

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The $52.5 million contract has been awarded to Dawson Solutions, LLC, a Native Hawaiian Organization 8(a) contractor.

The debris removal will be managed by USACE on behalf of the federal government.

The fires, which began on Aug. 8 and burned for weeks, damaged or destroyed more than 2,000 properties in Upcountry Maui and in the historic town of Lahaina.

The cleanup is currently in phase one, in which the EPA is removing hazardous materials. Phase two consists of removing other fire-related debris and is being managed by USACE.

Property and business owners must give their permission, by way of a right-of-entry form, to have the debris removed from their property, according to USACE.

Cultural observers will also be present during the cleanup.

“Having cultural observers in place prior to the commencement of Phase 2 debris removal is key to ensuring USACE personnel and contractors can perform their work for the people of Maui with confidence that items of cultural significance are going to be protected,” said Col. Jess Curry, Recovery Field Office commander.