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Devastation of Maui Fires

A Glimpse into Maui Pre and Post Burn

   A week in paradise. Over the 2023 spring break, I went to Maui, Hawaii, for a week. From going to the beach, eating the best banana bread, going to the top of a volcano, to seeing Pearl Harbor it was a week greatly spent. After two five-hour flights from KC to San Francisco and then from there to Maui, we finally arrived in one of the most beautiful places on earth. There is so much to do while in Hawaii and we tried our best to do everything we could.

A sunrise on Wailea, Maui. (Katie )

When first arriving in Maui, we drove around and admired the beautiful scenery of the island. We watched the gorgeous sunset over the water’s edge and walked around Wailea until it was time for us to head back to the hotel. The next day we woke up bright and early to watch the sunrise and head to the historic town of Lahaina. We drove around, shopped, and ate. The town of Lahaina is beautiful and full of history. While walking along the streets of Lahaina we stopped and had an amazing meal at Kimo’s Restaurant. Driving across the island, I was in awe of how beautiful the island truly was. I stood on a cliff edge viewing the water, went to the beach, got insanely sunburned, and had the best fish tacos. That day was truly unforgettable. On the second full day on Maui, we did Road to Hana, a long road on the East side of Maui showing historic sights and views.  After driving down the narrow twisty road on the cliff’s edge, we arrived at one of the most breathtaking places I have ever seen, The Garden of Eden. There was so much to see and experience there, from seeing a 100 year mango tree, a forest of bamboo, and seeing more beautiful views. The next day, we whale watched and snorkeled. While on the boat, we saw plenty of whales, mothers and babies, that were getting close to the boat. Then we snorkeled; I saw sea turtles, fish, coral reefs, and so much more. Then we finished off the day with a Hawaiian custom, shave ice. The next morning, we went on top of one of the dormant volcanoes on Maui, Haleakalā. Although it dropped below 50 degrees up on top and we were over 11, 000 feet up, the view from up top was mesmerizing. Bright and early the next day, we hopped another flight and flew to Honolulu to go see Pearl Harbor and get a tour of the area. Seeing Pearl Harbor was a beautiful but devastating learning experience; I would suggest anyone ever going to Hawaii to at least see Pearl Harbor once. During that short period of time, I saw and experienced things I only ever dreamed of. I will never forget my week in the most gorgeous place I’ve ever had the chance to visit.

      Five months later, the beautiful island of Maui would be on fire. Due to the strong winds of hurricane Dora, powerlines fell causing fire to start. Then leading to thousands of acres of the island to be on fire.

An image of Lahaina, Maui on fire 8/8/23 (CNN)

   The fire was abrupt and unexpected and the people on the island had little time to evacuate.   The town of Lahaina was one of many to be hit hard by the fire. Restaurants, businesses, homes, and history were all burned from the fire. Lahaina’s own 150 year old banyan tree suffered extreme damage from the fire, and locals are trying to help the tree in hopes of keeping the historic tree alive. Kimo’s restaurant, that I have previously eaten at, is now not standing due to fire damage. Another infamous building burnt is Mick Fleetwood’s restaurant, Fleetwood’s on Front St. On his twitter account, he put out a statement saying “Fleetwood’s on Front Street has been lost and while we are heartbroken, our main priority is the safety of our dear staff and team members”. I was very fortunate enough to be able to explore the town of Lahaina before it was all stripped away and I am forever grateful for that. While trying to escape the flames, people tried to drive away, go on boats, and as well as jumping into the ocean. According to USA Today, the death tolls have reached 115 people, and the missing people have gotten to 388 and it continues to rise daily. Many of Maui’s people have lost their homes, their jobs, and their life in a short amount of time. Although most of the fires are contained, Maui County has released fire weather still needs to be watched in certain areas. It is very saddening that many people are displaced due to horrible fires destroying their home. 

   Many celebrities and organizations are making donations to help recover the island. There is a Maui Wildfire Relief organization, called Maui Nui Strong,  that people over the world can support, donate, and learn more about the wildfires. The breathtaking island of Maui needs all the help it can get from the severe damage. Maui, Hawaii is truly a breathtaking place to travel, and I hope everyone can get to experience it at least once.

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About the Contributor
Katie Glasgow, Reporter
Katie Glasgow is a junior and reporter for The Shield. This is her first year on the staff. Outside of school, she can be found doing dance, listening to music, and hanging out with her friends. Her favorite movie is 10 Things I Hate about You. Katie is excited to further her writing skills this year and connect with the student body.
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