The Student News Site of Oakmont High School

Norse Notes

The Student News Site of Oakmont High School

Norse Notes

The Student News Site of Oakmont High School

Norse Notes

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Hawaii’s second largest island turned to ash

Wildfire ravages Maui as experts struggle to find the cause.
Lahaina Town, Maui architecture. Captured in Feb. 2014.
PC: Flickr
Lahaina Town, Maui architecture. Captured in Feb. 2014. PC: Flickr

The island of Maui has been hit with a series of wildfires that have covered the island in smoke, ash, and debris of crumbled housing and businesses.

According to the Hawaii Wildfire Management, about 0.5% of Hawaii’s land area burns annually due to wildfires 75% of these fires are caused by humans, and therefore are preventable for the most part.

Officials are still unsure of what exactly caused the wildfires that have leveled much of Hawaii’s second largest island. Experts attribute the fire’s devastation to high temperatures, strong winds as a result of a category 4 storm and certain drought conditions that had hit Maui.

Experts warn that extreme weather conditions and disasters like this wildfire will occur more frequently followed with greater intensity due to climate change, along with other contributing factors mentioned previously. 

“This is the largest natural disaster (Hawaii has) ever experienced.” Hawaii’s Governor, Josh Green, said in a news release.

Since the fires started a week ago, the western city of Lahaina has been almost entirely consumed. Lahaina residents are suing the state’s biggest electric company, Hawaiian Electric, for their seemingly careless attempts to prevent the fire. According to an article by TIME, residents had claimed that the equipment used by the company was not strong enough to withstand the power of the winds brought on by the category 4 storm. 

The catastrophe began on Aug. 8, as high winds, that some officials say may have been as strong as 60-80 mph, engulfed the area in flames, along with a lagging emergency warning system causing chaos on the island. 

Many used the ocean as their escape from the blaze, or tried to flee eastward where the wildfire hadn’t yet entirely consumed the state’s cities and businesses. The devastating Maui wildfire has killed at least 99 people so far, and almost a thousand people are still unaccounted for as of Aug. 15. 

The wildfire has burned more than 2,500 acres across historic towns like Lahaina and it is now known as one of the deadliest wildfires in the U.S. in over a century.

Only 25% of the burn area has been searched, with officials saying the death toll could double, or even triple as the community continues search efforts over the coming weeks. 

The people of Maui, along with volunteers around the world, have emerged to help in the search and rescue of the ever-growing number of missing people.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Cooper Hicks
Cooper Hicks, News Editor
Cooper Hicks is the News Editor for Journalism and has been in the class for three semesters. He has enlisted into the U.S. Army so that is where he is headed after Oakmont. In the Army, he will work as a combat medic.  

Comments (0)

Norse Notes intends for this area to be used to foster thought-provoking discussions. Comments are must adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. We do not permit the use of foul language, profanity, attacks on individuals, or the use of language that could be interpreted as libelous. All comments are reviewed and need to be reviewed before each comment is published. Norse Notes does not allow anonymous comments and requires each person's first and last name along with a valid email address. Email addresses are not displayed, but will be used to confirm comments.
All Norse Notes Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *