“Unprecedented”: Fire Expert Says Climate & Native Vegetation Changes Fueled Explosive Maui Wildfires
Written by GRB on 11/08/2023
We speak to a fire scientist about how the climate emergency fueled this week’s historic wildfires on the Hawaiian island of Maui. “This is something that is absolutely unprecedented,” says Clay Trauernicht, a professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, University of Hawaii at Mānoa, where he focuses on wildland fire management in Hawaii and the Pacific. He explains how colonial landscape changes to the islands — prioritizing monocrop agriculture and land use for tourism — paired with the worsening atmospheric effects of climate change have set the conditions that sparked the devastating wildfires and allowed them to rage indiscriminately.