Wildfire Witness: A Fire in Maui?


Vacations are always unforgettable experiences. Sometimes, not everything goes as planned. Over the October break, my friend Liam Manning and I visited Maui with our families. I was coming back from a snorkel tour at Kapalua bay, enjoying my weeks worth of vacation at a tropical paradise, when I looked up and saw a cloud of thick black smoke. One of the scuba instructors on the boat with me was watching a live Instagram video of the fire. Everyone was in shock.

October 2nd 2019, an unfortunate and violent brushfire burned and blocked highways and roads in Maui. According to the Maui fire department, the fire burned around 4,600 acres of land. 

I was across the island during the fire. Liam was  stuck on the other side of the island due to road blockages. Liam described the situation, being closer to the fire, as “scary, sad, depressing, and horrifying.” He then said, being more directly affected than I was,”kids crying because they just wanted to get back home, all the highways and roads were closed and the whole thing felt like it came from out of a movie.”

He said he went to Target to stock up on blankets and pillows because they were going to sleep in their car. Sadly, everyone else was also stocking up on supplies, so he had to find a way to get to his aunt’s house. He managed to stay there overnight and the next day when the road opened up again, he came over to tell me this horrifying story.

The threat of a fire, even on the Hawaiian islands, is just the same as it is here in San Jose. Any wildfire or brushfire can happen at any given moment. For more information about wildfires in our area of California, visit https://fire.ca.gov/