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We deserve some answers and solutions to fire hazard

First of all, much thanks to the police, firefighters and all others who fought the fires. Several days have passed and my house and car still carry a very heavy smell of smoke, which refuses to dissipate.

I live at 4,000-feet elevation in Kula and for quite a few hours and into morning of July 12 I was completely engulfed in heavy smoke, so thick it was hard to see my neighbor’s house. The worst in my 33 years in Kula! For several hours I had no cable, no internet and it was almost impossible to reach people on my cellphone. I almost left my home given the difficulty breathing and the stench.

Today I am asking: Why did this need to happen, and how many more fires will the extremely dry valley experience? And most importantly, who is to blame and who pays the bills for fighting the fire? Is it me the taxpayer whose home and livelihood were extremely compromised because the county and the owners of 39,000 acres of very dry bush have not adequately planned for such an obvious disaster given the weather? How many more fires and serious disruptions to people’s lives I wonder in the absence of any public plan to deal with such problems? I asked the same questions a few months ago after the huge Haleakala Highway brush fire.

We deserve some answers and solutions. Breathing with difficulty here in Kula!

Vinnie Linares

Kula