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Maui residents need our help

Climate change-related wildfires have torn through Hawaii's second-largest island, Maui. Drought, invasive grass species, and high winds created the conditions for this disaster.

But before I get into that, I want to ask you to donate, if you are able, to the Hawaii Community Foundation's Maui Strong Fund. 100% of donations to the Maui Strong Fund are going directly to the communities impacted by the devastating wildfires.

Our movement is strong, and together we've shown how even small actions can make a big difference. Will you help make a difference today by donating to the Maui Strong Fund?

These devastating and deadly wildfires are fueled by climate-related conditions across the island.

First, Maui was incredibly dry because of flash droughts this spring and summer. A flash drought is a sudden and intense onset of drought conditions, occurring much faster than traditional droughts. It results from a combination of factors such as high temperatures, limited rainfall, wind, low humidity, and existing dryness. It is a rapid drying of soil and vegetation that can harm agriculture, water resources, ecosystems, and various sectors reliant on water. As the climate warms, flash droughts are becoming more and more common.

To add to this, 26% of the land in Maui is now home to fire-prone invasive species of grass. The sugar cane and pineapple plantations brought by colonialization are now overgrown with non-native species of grasses. These grasses grow rapidly during the rainy season and burn easily when they dry out. The fires can then easily spread to native forests, harming endangered species and ultimately spreading more grass.

Finally, unusually high winds fanned the flames of the wildfires, causing them to spread. Trade winds are a common aspect of Hawaii's weather patterns, driven by air movement from the high-pressure zone north of Hawaii (North Pacific High) to the lower-pressure region near the equator to the south. But this year they are stronger than normal. According to the Hawaiian National Weather Service, though Hurricane Dora was 750 miles away, it still intensified the low-pressure area, causing a notable increase in air pressure difference and resulting in abnormally powerful trade winds on the islands.

These wildfires are the deadliest in more than 100 years. Thousands of people have been displaced from their homes, and too many have died.

As we see these climate-related disasters increase, we must come together and support each other.

Will you take a minute and give what you can to the Hawaii Community Foundation's Maui Strong Fund to help those in need?

More soon,


Posted on August 14, 2023.