End of sugar cane not to blame for fires

The writer’s anger evident in her Sept. 3 letter is misplaced. Those of us who worked to end sugar cane burning are not to blame for the fires this summer. A&B ended sugar cultivation because it was not economical to continue growing it in Hawaii. The anti-cane burning effort was only a small factor in their decision.

A&B left their land as is, so the weeds flourished. Mahi Pono eventually bought the land, but they have been very slow to till and actually plant crops on much of the land they purchased.

One person has been charged with arson for the July 11 fire, the largest one. An idiot smoking marijuana started a fire in another dry, fallow field. I imagine other idiots will continue to drive cars into the fields and torch them — as I recall, this used to happen when cane was still being cultivated.

The writer’s mention of “newcomers” complaining about cane burning smacks of the old, tiresome “haole go home” argument. I’m proud of my involvement in the effort to end cane burning. Where I came from is completely irrelevant.

No one is happy about these fires. The writer’s anger should be directed at those who are setting the fires, those who are careless with fire, and the property owners who are doing little or nothing to reduce the fuel load on their land. She should start there, and not write divisive letters blaming the wrong group of people.

Chris Profio



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