Address causes of wildfires thoughtfully

As we have seen in national news, brush fires are dangerous and can pose a significant risk to residents and communities. On Maui, many people rush to protect our island when threatened by fires.

Our Maui Fire Department crews should be commended for their hard work and quick action as well as the workers in the county’s Department of Public Works who aided in containing the recent brush fires that burned the Central Valley.

It’s disgusting when media reports say preliminary indications from the Police Department’s investigations show arson may be to blame for the fires. It’s also discouraging that some people are quick to blame A&B for the shameful acts of arsonists.

Sugar cane cannot be replaced overnight. As more diversified agriculture takes hold in Central Maui, the fields will be irrigated. But until then, we need to address this problem thoughtfully instead of pointing fingers.

The Maui Fire Department could certainly use more resources to fight brush fires as they used to be aided by the HC&S field crews, which no longer exist. We should prosecute the people who started these fires, not persecute A&B.

Dianne Ellis Shimizu