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Maui’s Wildfire Disaster: Media Pushes ‘Climate Crisis’ Cause, People Are Pushing Back

Maui’s Wildfire Disaster: Media Pushes ‘Climate Crisis’ Cause, People Are Pushing Back

Hawaiian fire experts warned of wildfire danger years ago, and key recommendations were ignored. Additionally, arsonists set blazes all across the island in 2022

The death toll from the destructive wildfire that incinerated Maui’s historic town of Lahaina continues to rise as firefighters battle blazes on the Hawaiian island.

The raging wildfire that swept through the picturesque town of Lahaina on the Hawaiian island of Maui this week has killed at least 93 people, authorities said early Sunday, making it the deadliest natural disaster in Hawaii since it became a state in 1959.

…Maui County officials said early Sunday that firefighting crews are continuing to extinguish flare-ups in the Lahaina and Upcountry Maui fires.

In the Upcountry Maui fire, three structures in Olinda and 16 structures in Kula were destroyed. On Saturday, the Pulehu/Kīhei fire was declared 100%, which indicates what percentage of the fire perimeter has been enclosed by a control line and reflects opportunities for the fire to spread beyond its original border into new areas.

The American media has been attempting to link this wildfire to its “Climate Crisis” narrative. It appears the effort is backfiring, as people are questioning whether or not the “experts” are applying real science.

To begin with, Legal Insurrection readers may recall that I noted that poor land management practices needed to be considered when assessing the reasons the blaze roared out of control with such ferocity.

It turns out that nine years ago, a report by Hawaiian fire researchers sounded the alarm that the area was at extremely high risk of burning. Many key recommendations were ignored.

In 2014, a wildfire-protection plan for the area was written by the Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization, a nonprofit that works with government agencies. It warned that Lahaina was among Maui’s most fire-prone areas because of its proximity to parched grasslands, steep terrain and frequent winds.

The plan, which involved Maui and state officials, laid out a multitude of mitigation measures that needed to be undertaken to shield the area around Lahaina from fires. They included thinning vegetation near populated areas, improving wildfire-response capabilities and working with landowners and utilities to help reduce fire risk on their property.

Some of the recommendations from the 2014 plan, which was devised after more than a half-dozen community meetings, were implemented, like brush thinning efforts and public education for landowners, said the report’s lead author, Elizabeth Pickett. But others, such as ramping up emergency-response capacity, have been stymied by a lack of funding, logistical hurdles in rugged terrain and competing priorities, said Pickett, co-executive director of the wildfire nonprofit.

“We’ve been hammering this home, and it’s just really frustrating and heartbreaking to see that some things could have been done, but we couldn’t find money,” she said. “We are living through what happens when there’s a lag and everyone’s still catching up.”

Many people are suggesting that an arson investigation be conducted once the fires are under control, in light of the fact there were acts of arson all over Maui in 2022.

Officials said fires were located all over the island of Maui in different regions.

“Fire and police suspect someone is intentionally setting them,” said Maui Mayor Michael Victorino.

According to officials, the incident happened between the hours of 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 12.

MFD said they responded to a total of seven brush fire calls in Central Maui.

I will also note that the Hawaii Fire Department were investigating the brush fires in Kaʻū in Naalehu and Pahala, which were suspected cases of arson, on August 9th.

Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, at least, noted that there was a possibility of arson.

It all began with a small forest fire, though it’s not yet clear what started that fire and whether it could be linked to arson.

In any case, firefighters could not extinguish the blaze and on Wednesday night the flames began to spread very quickly. Fanned by extremely strong winds, the fire was soon out of control, a similar situation to the recent wildfires on the Greek island of Rhodes. In both cases, the fire spread so fast that many people panicked and jumped into the sea to escape the flames.

Hopefully, Hawaiian fire officials will be allowed to conduct a full assessment and some less narrative-driven members of the press will publish those findings when available.

Another aspect to consider when assessing the reasons behind this disaster is that the area’s vegetation has changed.

Hawaii isn’t traditionally known as a wildfire hotspot, though researchers have noted a steep increase in recent years.

One study cited deforestation, the abandonment of agricultural lands and the introduction of non-native, fire-prone grasses as factors that have made Hawaii more susceptible to fire.

The precise cause of the fires has not yet been determined, but the U.S. National Weather Service had issued warnings for the Hawaiian Islands for high winds and dry weather — conditions ripe for wildfires.

Vegetation in Maui’s lowland areas was particularly dry this year, after below-average precipitation this spring and summer, experts said.

Lahaina is on the dry side of the island. If drought-resistant plants replaced ones that were less so, that surely must be considered more of a factor than changes in trace levels of carbon dioxide (a life-essential gas).

As I am on the subject of vegetation, many are worried about Lahaina’s iconic banyan tree.

The tree was just an 8-foot (2-meter) sapling when it was planted in 1873, a gift shipped from India to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first Protestant mission in Lahaina. It was planted a quarter century before the Hawaiian Islands became a U.S. territory and seven decades after King Kamehameha declared Lahaina the capital of his kingdom.

“There is nothing that has made me cry more today than the thought of the Banyan Tree in my hometown of Lahaina,” wrote a poster identifying herself as HawaiiDelilah on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“We will rebuild,” her post said. “And the natural beauty of Maui will be forever.”

Prayers for Maui’s recovery and for the healing of its people, land, and the Banyan Tree.

Meanwhile, it is heartening to see so much push-back against the narrative pseudoscience the press is pushing.


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TY Leslie… All I can say is I wept when I heard about this tragedy.. I am traveling and heard snippets, in between long car rides…

I am sure there are things that could have mitigated this disaster.. right now, it is just so terrible. Paradise lost.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to amwick. | August 13, 2023 at 6:38 pm

    Yep, proper forestry, removal of deadfall. And culling of nut cases.

    Democrats have been running (ruinning) Hawaii for a long time. This was a man made crisis. Democrats allowed Lahina and Maui to become a fire hazzard and created the conditions for this disaster.

Same bullsh*t in California: intentional mismanagement of forests to cause catastrophic fires. Then blame it on ‘climate change’ – as has the stupidest woman ever to be elected a United States Senator, Mazi Hirano.

    henrybowman in reply to | August 13, 2023 at 5:00 pm

    College Bowl Smarter Than A Fifth-Grader cage match, her and Cori Bush. Do it now.

    USFS control most of the forested mountain ranges in Calif. State control most of the valley parkland. Local counties control some small riverine and foothill parkland.

    All of the catastrophic fires were on USFS land. Okay, not all. The Santa Rosa fire complex happened on State owned parkland. The worst scrubland fire in SoCal history was on state property – started by hoboes roasting wieners over an open campfire during a windstorm.

      Tiki in reply to Tiki. | August 13, 2023 at 6:24 pm

      I know of at least three – 5000 acre fires – started by hoboes supposedly “cooking” food over open campfires. In the middle of a 105f+ day. Because that’s what lazy arse hobo’s do. They get busy in 105-115f heat.

Same story played out a few years ago all across New South Wales to equally devastating effect.

Local regulations prohibited landowners from clearing undergrowth around homes, firebreaks were not kept clear and trees were allowed to encroach in to housing areas, which added fuel for fires.

The end result was virtually quarantined by Local Government actions, the fires eventually came, property and lives were lost and intellectual pygmies on the left blamed it on Mann Made Global Warming ™.

It struck me as something of a tourist slum but maybe it’s changed since I was there. No local industry except tourist stuff, save whatever Dole was growing on the other side of the mountain.

Precious is news hype. Tree was unremarkable.

    herm2416 in reply to rhhardin. | August 13, 2023 at 5:38 pm

    The tree is UNREMARKABLE? You must be joking.
    It grows across two acres of land.

      rhhardin in reply to herm2416. | August 13, 2023 at 5:50 pm

      Well, that’s what tourist trade is. If they tell you it’s really remarkable you might believe it.

      Anybody, anywhere, is equally affected by losing their neighborhood to fire. There’s nothing special about this except shark-week news value. Especially the tree.

        fogflyer in reply to rhhardin. | August 14, 2023 at 8:54 am

        Well, I lived on Maui for over a decade and worked and lived in Lahaina for two years.
        Tourist destination? Of course, all of Maui is… Slum? Not hardly. And the Banyan tree is amazing! How jaded you must be not appreciate the beauty of that tree, or maybe you have never actually been there.

Great to see people calling bullshit on Global Gaslighting.

    If only it was mere ‘gaslighting’. It’s sinisterness on furtherance of evil on the level of Nazi Germany, Mao and Stalin: genocide.

      Wow. A fire in Maui is the same level of evil as Nazi Germany, Mao and Stalin. You are f–king nuts.

        Not the fire, JR. The people who intentionally created the conditions that allowed the fire.

          OK. So you are saying the people who created the conditions that allowed the fires, are exactly the same as Hitler, Nazi Germany, Mao and Stalin. So 1,000 people who die in a fire are the exact same thing as 6,000.000 Jews killed in concentration camps and millions more killed in gulags of Stalin and forced re-education camps of Mao. You are delusional.

        JohnSmith100 in reply to JR. | August 13, 2023 at 6:46 pm

        Less so than you.

      Not genocide. Genocide is the destruction of an identifiable group of people – ethnic, geographic, whatever. What the Left is after is nothing less than the destruction of all human life on Earth.

        ThePrimordialOrderedPair in reply to Rusty Bill. | August 13, 2023 at 7:37 pm

        Yep. Nihilists. The Western Left are self-hating nihilists who are out to make all of us pay because they are insanely angry that they were ever born.

Hawaii commonly has wildfires, especially on the leeward sides during dry cycles of the PDO. We would have wildfires almost every year when I was back there in the 80s, and not only were communities prepared and ready during fires, but we spent time on mitigation before those fires showed up, making sure you didn’t have a bunch of tinder built up. Heck, we used to regularly have sugar cane fields burning back when we still had a lot of agriculture, as part of the harvesting process.

What happened to Lahaina is ultimately going to be down to the balls that people in power dropped, because they were focusing on issues that were sexier in the news, but not nearly as important.


Once again the media tries to lie about the cause and of course people stupid enough to be democrats believe it.

Nothing can stop wildfire whipped by 70-90mph winds. Nothing. Firebreaks 300yds wide will not stop clouds of embers from hurdling ridges. That 20yrd strip bordering your fence line and scrubland won’t stop it.

Arson investigation need begin yesterday. I doubt the local arson investigators are qualified or up to the task. I don’t trust the feds. I want to see teams of three investigators, one of which being not affiliated with government or environmental groups. A freebooter.

I liken this to the recent news of the discovery of a Chinese bio weapons. The locals – the city/county code enforcement officers poking around a bioweapons lab. Wholly unsuited for the task.

    Mauiobserver in reply to Tiki. | August 13, 2023 at 6:56 pm

    Not a fire expert but a resident of Maui for a number of years. Until recently much of central and west Maui was agricultural. The cane fields were regularly burnt both for harvest and weed control. The roads through the fields were also fire breaks. Also, key was that the highly skilled and paid workers had lots of heavy equipment and knowledge to make fire breaks in the right places well in advance to set controlled fires in adjacent open areas (not sure if they were scheduled or just periodic). The crews and equipment also provided a significant resource when wildfires threatened populated areas.

    The agricultural business was shut down a few years ago largely because Maui was no longer competitive with other sugar producers like beet sugar vs. cane and obviously the cost of transport from Hawaii.

    However, the political pressure to stop sugar cane cultivation was getting to be overwhelming. The new residents of Maui were furious when the cane ash from the burn off covered their cars, porches or landed in their swimming pools. The letters to the editors and community activists demanding an end to the practice dominated discussions from at least 2013 till the end a few years ago.

    About the only defenders of cane farming were the hundreds of locals working at the high paying jobs in the industry that warned what would happen if the lands were not managed. The answer from the activists were usually, cool grow hemp there or build low-cost housing with no plan of how to pay for either or provide the necessary water and infrastructure.

      fogflyer in reply to Mauiobserver. | August 14, 2023 at 9:00 am

      The fires and ash didn’t bother me, but all the cane spiders that infiltrated my house when they burned the cane right behind me sure did! Big ol’ ugly suckers… and they can jump! I was said when I heard all the cane and pineapple fields were displaced, that was just part of Hawaii vibe.

Yes, the banyan tree can be the nexus of renewing Lahaina. Anyone who has been there and wanted to be steeped in the history of Hawaii wants there to be some touch of the past surviving. Lahaina was a touristy area but SOOOO much more.

“making it the deadliest natural disaster in Hawaii since it became a state in 1959.” Who says ‘natural” at this time? Such a disaster requires multiple steps to happen. The alert system was never used. It was there for such emergencies. Rest assured the Democratic Party controlled state will shield itself from its laxity… just as with Katrina.

Every official needs to be thoroughly investigated ,,, bank accounts and all since there were moves to make such an area a WEF site. I personally think it was arson…. on a petty level … not WEF/NWO scale … “Hawaii nativist movement” or some such. Cleansing the Islands. of tourists.. We shall see.

The poster who mentioned the homeless starting fires is on point.

That happens frequently on Maui but usually they are contained without homes being destroyed or lives lost.

In fact, on Friday not long after the fires threatening Kihei were brought under control a homeless camp in central Kihei set fire to a sofa creating a bit of a panic. Fortunately the local gym and a few other businesses put out the word that the fire department was able to quickly extinguish the fire and police cleared the camp.

I know the area pretty well. I was born on Maui. My wife lived on Front Street above Moki’s Inn, a long gone bar that served exclusively Hawaiian food, and later bought a home behind it. Both gone.
The extent of the fire was caused by governmental negligence. For more than 1,200 years Lahaina was encircled by agriculture fields. Early illustrations show taro fields and orchards, coconut, kukui nut and breadfruit. All irrigated and well tended. After contact, Lahaina was backed by pineapple and sugar cane. As the latter was periodically burned, fire breaks surrounded each field.
When farming stopped, about 30 years ago for sugar, more recently for pineapple, All this land was taken over by the invasive guinea grass, haole koa and a variety of mesquite we call kiawe..
Lahaina is always dry and hot. Always. It is in the lee of the West Maui mountains and gets little rain. Droughts are common on parts of Maui and always have been. I remember them as a child. Irrigation was sourced from large streams, near rivers springing from from the high mountains.
While I suspect this fire was arson, like the 2019 fire, (and now lawyer ” investigative teams” are certain the electric company started the fire….legal scum) foliage and wind created the perfect fire storm..
The lack of wide fire breaks doomed the oldest town in Hawaii.
And this exact scenario exists in Kihei through La Perouse Maui, Kekaha Kauai, Kohala Hawaii and Waianae Oahu. And I remember all being as hot and as dry as the present.
Global Warming is the political way to avoid doing one’s job and responsibility.

“The tree was just an 8-foot (2-meter) sapling when it was planted in 1873, a gift shipped from India to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first Protestant mission in Lahaina.”

In other words, it’s an invasive species and should never have been planted in the first place.

Do they really care? On Maui, they cancelled school because of the high winds and the kids were instructed to stay at home… with the parents at work. If so…. the death count will soar from kids burned to death. The whole area is shut down and off limits. No press. This is part expediency and part controlling the Dem disaster.