Cane fires that should be stopped ruin a weekend

The weekend of Sept. 24-25 was the most horrific experience I’ve had on Maui since my arrival in 1989. I woke up Saturday and looked out to a pristine, clear, gorgeous morning, Haleakala majestically rose colored, the West Maui mountains etched in all their glory.

I hurried to Baldwin Beach Park, anxious to bathe in the extraordinary morning. Little did I know what hell awaited.

Going down Haleakala Highway, I noticed no trade winds and roaring up into the sky, two massive cane burns went off, mushrooming like a nuclear explosion. I understand that it’s against the law to burn on a day with no wind and that each time there’s a burn it violates EPA laws.

I get to Baldwin Beach and go down the beach, trying to ignore the massive burn on the slopes. At “Baby Beach” four people are pointing back at Kuau and saying, “Oh, no, they set off another one.” Another huge plume went up up and within 10 minutes we trapped in thick, noxious smoke and ash is raining down on us.

The whole rest of Saturday was ruined with the smoke sitting in the windless sky like a malevolent intruder. The whole island and her inhabitants were being poisoned by this utter stupidity on the part of Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co.

I am enraged at all this and the cowish way we all just give in and accept this outrage.

Auwe, auwe!

Raman Das