I am appalled at the practice of cane burning here on Maui.
I moved to Makawao from Kauai in 2006. The first time I saw one of those enormous mushroom clouds from a cane burn, I was terrified. I had no idea what was causing such a huge fire.
After a while, I got used to seeing those clouds from a distance.
It wasn't until I began traveling around the island for work that I noticed just how bad that cane smoke is. I had clients in a north Kihei condo who wanted massages outside on their green grassy lawn, under the swaying palms by the ocean. Only problem was long black slivers of burned cane leaves raining all over the crisp clean sheets on the tables I set up.
The next thing I noticed is the dreary grey vog that often fills our atmosphere, which has been getting worse every year. Add to that the huge clouds of dust, dirt and smoke that often fill the flat stretch between Upcountry and the south side. And then we have soot-filled smoke that obliterates everything in Central Maui and north Kihei on cane burn mornings.
I have come to find that Maui is often a far cry from the paradise everyone on the Mainland thinks I live in. I don't know what we can do about the vog and the lack of rain that causes all the dust, but we can certainly stop adding smoke to the already problematic air situation.