How are farmers coping with the destructive Hawaiian wildfires?
Satellite images show how the island’s agriculture is at risk
Wildfires continue to plague farmers in Hawaii.
Several #wildfires are burning across parts of Hawaii this week, fueled in part by strong winds from Hurricane Dora passing to the south. @NOAA's GOESWest was tracking the hotspots and smoke from the fires as they burned across parts of Maui and the Big Island yesterday evening.… pic.twitter.com/WzApS2ddTi— NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) August 9, 2023
USDA Meteorologist, Brad Rippey, says no one really saw this coming, and they are now considered the most destructive Hawaiian fires of modern times. He shares an update on what farmers are facing.
“On the northwest slopes of Haleakala, that has been burning toward populated areas and also has been burning through some agricultural areas. Areas that were once planted to sugarcane have been converted to other crops in recent years as a large number of young citrus orchards on the northwest slopes of Haleakala, they may have been vulnerable to some of these fires as well,” says Brad Rippey. “And then on the Big Island, a couple of fires burning there as well through some farmlands, ranch lands and grasslands across the northern part of the Big Island.”
Some of the contributors to the fires are lingering chronic drought situations, invasive grasses growing after a wet season and the combination of a high pressure system with a hurricane