2 thoughts on “Are the Maui Fires What They Appeared to Be?

  1. What an awful shame. Someone is dropping the ball .

    I was on Maui in 2005. I saw the Banyan tree in the town square of Lahaina.

    ” In the middle of Lahaina’s ash and rubble is a sign of hope for people in Maui: a famed, 150-year-old banyan tree that’s heavily charred — but still standing.

    The tree is a sight to behold, still sprawling over downtown Lahaina’s courthouse square after a devastating blaze raged through the town just days ago, destroying thousands of structures and forcing residents to flee.

    Hawaii Gov. Josh Green told CBS News the tree is “still breathing” and is absorbing water and producing sap, just not as much as it usually does.

    “It’s like a burn victim itself,” Green said. “Traumatized, much like the town.”

    The Lahaina banyan tree was planted on April 24, 1873, when it was just 8 feet tall, as a gift from missionaries from India. Since then, it’s grown to be “extraordinary, almost surreal,” standing over 60 feet tall with a quarter-mile circumference, according to the Lahaina Restoration Foundation. It also has 46 “major trunks” aside from the original it was planted with, and is known for being “the largest banyan tree in the entire United States,” according to the organization.

    On Saturday, Hawaiian Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono visited the tree, saying an arborists on the scene was doing “everything he can” to help save the famous banyan. With dozens of people dead from the fire that tore through the area, Hirono said she believes the tree is offering some optimism among despair.

    “The iconic banyan tree on Front Street is deeply damaged, but still standing,” she posted on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter. “After speaking with the arborist working on the tree, I’m optimistic that it will bloom again — serving as a symbol of hope amid so much devastation.”

    It already has served as a sign of hope.

    Local business owner Javier Barberi went back to Lahaina – the former capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom – the day after the fire ripped through the area. The only way he was able to find his business in the city’s remains was by looking for the tree.

    “I drove to Front Street. I was only able to find our restaurant based off of the banyan tree. I had to use the banyan tree as a reference because everything was decimated as far as the eye could see,” he said.

    “The banyan tree is one of the most iconic things in Lahaina. It’s a landmark,” he said. “To me, it shows strength of the town, you know this incredible, resilient tree. And I hope to God we see green come out of it one day.”

    While in Lahaina I saw a Hawaiian musical show … Ulalena..

    ‘Ulalena is a world-renowned Hawaiian theater production dedicated to telling the story of Hawaii’s people. The critically acclaimed stage show outlines the islands’ creation, transformation and rebirth by integrating ancient Hawaiian history with state-of-the-art theater technology, and stunning music, chant, dance and acrobatics. ‘Ulalena speaks to the imagination and inspires the human spirit to keep the Hawaiian culture alive. An invaluable cultural experience and a must-do on Maui! ”

    Many great memories of Maui. God willing Lahaina will rise again like a phoenix from the ashes.

Comments are closed.