It is hard to get news in Maui without going to the store and hearing “stories”. Maui News site is down. We have a large brush fire on the hill going up to Lahaina. It has had the road closed since early morning yesterday. Last night the views a the beach were amazing. A string of fire from the bottom to the top of the mountain. News at 10:00pm (from Honolulu) talked about it. Here is the best article I’ve found.
Peter and I went running on beach yesterday morning and saw smoke. It looked like a small localized fire on the hill. The picture in the article is right where we run (in fact the fisherman were even there… I can’t say for sure it was the same guys… Labor Day is big fishing weekend). No homes have been impacted that I’ve heard of but traffic to Lahaina/Kaanapali was totally stopped – I don’t know if it is open yet. People are missing planes and unable to get to hotels. Yes, there is another road around the north side of island. But it is 23 miles of single lane (one way) with very steep slopes. Roads and traffic are a big problem here on Maui. We like seeing most the tourists go off to the Northwest but everyone needs to recognize that they can become totally isolated at a moments notice. And it happens frequently!
Update: Today I went out and the whole hill is black. There is still some burning but it looks like it is further up the hill. They just got the new wind power generators going last month. It looks like there is some type of fencing around them… maybe fire retardant? But the fire seemed to go right up to the fence! They didn’t say anything on radio about the road being closed so I suspect it is open; I’m not willing to risk getting caught in traffic to try it though!