Research by Clay Trauernicht, a fire specialist at the University of Hawaii, and others has shown that the scale and frequency of wildfires have been increasing across in Hawaii from the early 1900s to the 2010s. The researchers also identified a major culprit: non-native plants.
“Wildfires were most frequent in developed areas, but most areas burned occurred in dry non-native grasslands and shrublands that currently compose 24 percent of Hawaii’s total land cover,” the researchers wrote. “These grass-dominated landscapes allow wildfires to propagate rapidly.”
The non-native grasses were brought to Hawaii by cattle ranchers in the 19th century, University of California Santa Barbara ecologist Carla D’Antonio told me. “They were selected because they were drought tolerant.”
They are also invasive. — via Heatmap
The death toll from the Maui wildfires in Hawaii reached 93 on Saturday, according to the Maui County website, making it the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century, with the total likely to rise as cadaver dogs sift through the ruins of Lahaina.
The scale of the damage came into sharper focus four days after a fast-moving blaze leveled the historic resort town, obliterating buildings and melting cars. — via Reuters
If I have anger
It is only because
I know the stories of our loss
Kiʻi burnt to ash
Stones and koʻa removed
Now the foundations of Billionaire estates
I am aware
That nearly anywhere we walk
We are trampling upon the ʻiwi of our kūpuna