Brush Fire

With only a half-inch of rain so far this month, it was only a matter of time until something caught fire. Last night, we noticed an orange glow in the sky, after sunset and brighter than the usual lights of Lihue. Driving to the edge of the neighborhood, we gathered with others to watch the fire on the other side of the Wailua river, in the old sugar cane fields between the highway and Kalepa ridge. As a new homeowner, I was glad the widest river in the state was between our house and the fire.

Later, I hiked up the Sleeping Giant trail to get a better view:


According to the newspaper, the fire started near the highway on the left, around the Wailua River marina. Driven by the wind it spread uphill to the right and south, away from the photo. I was certain it would go up the ridge, but fortunately, the vegetation was still moist enough. At the bottom, you can see the lights of the Wailua Houselots neighborhood where we live.

While hiking, I could see how dry the vegetation was and realized how vulnerable a hiker would be in a wind-driven fire. I felt barely reassured by the fact that the neighborhood is well-watered.

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