Saturday, July 2, 2016

THE WILD WILD WIND

Summers are dry in Maui.  The fire threat is high.  Add the high winds we've been having and our island is covered in smoke!  And flames.  Helicopters are scooping buckets of ocean to drop to contain the blaze.  Yesterday we had a 400 acre fire on another part of the island ... that is not so well traveled.

Since our island is so small (48 miles by 26 miles), we don't have many connecting highways or byways.  The perimeter is 120 miles.  Some of our main cities have only one way in.  Today there was a small fire along one highway (and I use this term lightly ... high speed of 45, mostly 30).  Add the wind and this fire quickly got out of control.  People who live in Kihei (my town) and work in Lahaina and beyond cannot drive either direction.  



It is "possible" to drive around that west mountain to go from Lahaina down to Kihei.  But it is filled with one lane curves and steep cliffs and takes a few HOURS to travel.

I haven't been to the beach for days ... except to drive south to look at turtles.  My body would have been sand blasted.  Tomorrow is Sunday Fun Day where any lady friends show up at the same beach, if they are available and interested!  

While we have the map above ... see how close Wailea is to Hwy 37/31 (very close to Oprah's estate).  But I have to drive up towards the airport, then take 37 over to get to the town of Kula.  Oprah offered to help pay for a connecting road but the County refused.  She bought up land privately and built her own road.  That she keeps closed except for friends!

P.S.   Road Closure in Māʻalaea:
6:25 p.m Saturday night.: The Red Cross has opened up shelters at the War Memorial Gym in Wailuku and the Lahaina Civic Center beginning at 6 p.m. Police say traffic around Kahakuloa will be open to a single, alternating lane. The Honoapiʻilani Highway between Kūihelani Highway and Māʻalaea Road remains completely shut down due to the fire above the highway. Additionally, North Kīhei Road access and Wailuku-bound traffic from mile-post 14, Lahaina side, has been closed off. Police advise motorists to avoid the area. Māʻalaea residents are being evacuated as well.

4 comments:

  1. Wow, fires on an island sound very scary! At least you don't run out of water to fight them if the equipment and manpower can keep up. Be safe!!!

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  2. 6,000 acres. They did open the road about 11pm ... and it is open this morning with the caveat that it can close on a moment's notice with the flare ups. I'm lucky I live away from the open fields....

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  3. Scary! Hope you have everything you need. Stay safe!

    I don't blame Oprah for limiting usage, because she footed the bill, which must have been astronomical. Wouldn't it be nice if the county would take over the cost of upkeep so it could be used by all in the future.

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    1. I don't blame her either! The County is busy repaving a "highway" that was just repaved two years ago ....

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