Hawaii Fires: What We Know So Far
We have been carefully covering the wildfires that are ravaging the state of Hawaii. Here is what we know so far.
Where Are the Fires Located?
Currently, most fires are located in Maui, the second-largest island in Hawaii. As the wildfires progress, their locations will change, so please read the latest map updates if you are in the area. If you are in the area, please take measures to evacuate immediately.
What is the Cause?
The exact cause of the wildfires is unknown, but experts know about the environmental circumstances that can lead to wildfires. In Hawaii, the most common sparks for wildfires are lightning strikes accompanied by volcanic activity.
Hawaii’s hot, dry weather is also a significant contributor to the fires, and one example is that Hawaii has what’s known as Guinea grass, which can grow up to 10 feet, or 3 meters, tall. When this grass dries, it can create the perfect circumstances for an uncontrollable wildfire. When the wildfires occurred, Hawaii faced strong drought conditions, another factor.
Strong winds are another contributor. Hundreds of miles away, Hurricane Dora helped intensify the winds in Maui, which helped contribute to the wildfires.
Many experts agree that climate change contributes to Hawaii’s wildfires, with Hawaii seeing a decline in rainfall since 1990. Climate change, brought by fossil fuel use, has been blamed for many significant weather events due to creating heat waves and droughts.
How Many Deaths So Far?
“As the wildfires are currently developing, the fatality count will continue rising. As of 10:03 PM EST on August 10th, the death count is 53. Governor of Hawaii Josh Green has said that it’s in progress to be the deadliest natural disaster incident the island has experienced. He compared it to the 1960 Hilo tsunami, which killed 61 people. He believes that the deaths brought by the wildfires will “significantly exceed” those caused by the tsunami.”As the wildfires are currently developing, the fatality count will continue rising. As of 10:03 PM EST on August 10th, the death count is 53. Governor of Hawaii Josh Green has said that it’s in progress to be the deadliest natural disaster incident the island has experienced. He compared it to the 1960 Hilo tsunami, which killed 61 people. He believes that the deaths brought by the wildfires will “significantly exceed” those caused by the tsunami.
Lahaina is the Most Damaged City
One city that has received the brunt of the wildfires’ damage is Lahaina. This city is home to many historical buildings and monuments that Hawaii offers, but many have been destroyed in the wildfires. One example is the Pioneer Inn, which was built in 1901. Another example is a 150-year-old banyan tree stretching for a quarter mile. Lahaina had a robust historical district open to the public, making it a popular tourist spot and a place of pride for many natives, and as of this writing, its fate is unknown.
The sudden impact of the wildfires had many residents of Lahaina comparing it to a war zone or a bomb explosion.
How is the Government Acting?
On August 8th, Acting Governor Sylvia Luke issued an emergency proclamation on behalf of Governor Green. This proclamation authorizes the state to take advantage of several actions, such as activating the National Guard, gives authority to the director of the Hawai’i Emergency Management Agency and the Administrator of Emergency Management, and allows the state to spend state general revenue funds for damage caused by Hurricane Dora, which includes the wildfires.
Governor Green also said that it would cost billions and take many years to rebuild, and has sought 2,000 rooms to help those who no longer have homes and need housing. Maui Mayor Richard Bissen Jr. said that the wildfires have destroyed everything in Lahaina.
In addition, officials are searching for missing people, with the number of missing individuals still unknown, according to Maui Police Chief John Pelletier.
This story is currently developing, and we will keep you updated. Stay safe and try to evacuate if possible if you are in the area.