Maui Devastation – Death Toll Now 55

Fires leave the town of Lahaina in ruins

Wildfires ravaged the Hawaiian island of Maui with the death toll now reaching 55 and expected to rise. The historic tourist town of Lahaina is a pile of smoldering ash. Nearly 98% of wildfires in Hawaii are human caused whether from a cigarette or arson or other issue, not the result of “climate change.”

Hiroshima after the atomic bomb? No, Lahaina in Hawaii after being ravaged by wildfires. The 150-year-old Banyan tree was one of the largest in the US. (photo via The Epoch Times)

On Tuesday, winds from Hurricane Dora, which was churning just south of Hawaii, whipped the flames of wildfires through the town of Lahaina. The devastation with loss of life and property was staggering. At least 1,700 buildings were affected by the firestorm. The loss of buildings meant loss of jobs and homes for the people of Maui.

“I lost everything. I want the world to know just how bad it got here.” Kevin Foley, Lahaina resident

Drone footage of the fast-moving inferno via The Epoch Times

The flames came so fast that many did not have time to safely evacuate. Around 100 people ran to the ocean and jumped in the water to escape the inferno, according to the US Coast Guard. As of this writing, the USCG rescued those who fled the flames.

Picture: TikTok/@chefjoshuamarten

According to the Maui County Fire Chief, none of the fires are 100% contained, although some outlets reported the fire was at 80% containment. Crews remain to fight the fires and hot spots.

Residents fled with just the clothes on their backs and perhaps a pet. Others had no choice but to flee without their animals. Many are dead because they simply couldn’t get out in time. Tourists fled in hopes of getting to the airport, but flights from the island were cancelled due to the heavy smoke. The flights resumed on August 9. Every story in every outlet was heart rending.

Climate alarmists take advantage of terrible situation.

In the face of the tragedies of Maui residents, Democrats like Senator Jeff Merkley and Rep Ro Khanna just had to claim it was “climate change” and demand the government do something. Never let a good crisis go to waste as they say. But experts pushed back:

“Blaming this on weather and climate is misleading. Hawai’i’s fire problem is due to the vast areas of unmanaged, nonnative grasslands from decades of declining agriculture…These savannas now cover about a million acres across the main Hawaiian Islands, mostly the legacy of land clearing for plantation agriculture and ranching in the late 1800s/early 1900s. The transformation to savanna makes the landscape way more sensitive to bad ‘fire weather’ – hot, dry, windy conditions. It also means we get huge buildups of fuels during rainy periods.” Clay Trauernicht, University of Hawaii at Manoa professor and environmental management expert.

Translation?  Maui no longer has the pineapple and sugar cane plantations that once were a buffer to fires. Now there are nonnative grasslands and a drought-stricken landscape. Is that “climate change” or greed over tourism?



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Faye Higbee

Faye Higbee is the columnist manager for Uncle Sam's Misguided Children. She has been writing at Conservative Firing Line since 2013 as well. She is also a published author.

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