Aloha Bruce provides important information about the Maui wildfires that have burned Historic Lahaina Town to the ground and continue to burn in multiple areas on the Valley Isle. Bruce says straight away to come to Hawaii, “just not to Maui”, on this Saturday, August 12, 2023, episode of the Hawaii Vacation Connection Podcast.
Bruce gives details about current conditions in Maui and the locations of current blazes. He discusses the current dry conditions and dry brush “waiting to ignite” that he passes through on his daily hikes in southeast Oahu. “It’s kind of scary,” he says.
80 people have so far died in Lahaina because of the Maui wildfires, Bruce notes solemnly. “There will never be a Historic Lahaina Town again,” Bruce says and offers some insight into possibilities as redevelopment plans begin following the completion of the grim task of the search and recovery of victims of the blaze. Bruce is concerned that large corporations will offer area landowners victims, large sums of money and turn Lahaina into another Waikiki. “It would just be so sad to see that happen.”
Bruce talks about the thousands of visitors affected by the Maui wildfires and notes that the rest of Hawaii is still open. “We are not going to be booking people to Maui,” Bruce says of the immediate future. He does note that the rest of Hawaii retains its amazing natural beauty.
90% of Maui is Open!
For visitors with plans to travel to Maui, Bruce notes the high costs of staying in areas like Wailea and he offers some options to stay on Oahu instead. Oahu is a great alternative to Maui, and he shares some of the many attractions here. “Honestly, of all the islands in Hawaii, Maui is not always my first pick,” he says, despite internet algorithms that tend to point people to the Valley Isle. “Sometimes I have to talk people out of going to Maui. We’re saying don’t go to Maui right now.”There is no reason to cancel your Hawaii vacation because of the Maui Wildfires. “You can still come here and have an amazing time,” Bruce says, and he mentions that the Big Island also has some beautiful beaches.
“We are all in shock over what has happened here,” Bruce says. “It’s just so sad.” He shares his personal history in Hawaii, including being the first Kauai journalist after Hurricane Iniki devastated much of the Garden Isle in 1992. He discusses the lack of communication at the time and describes the efforts made to establish communication channels between the Hawaiian Islands. “It was a life-changing experience. We reported it, and we helped people.”
Bruce says communications and resources have greatly improved since then, and he offers some positive thoughts about the recovery efforts in Lahaina, which are going to take years following the deadly, devastating, and tragic Maui wildfires.