A suspected arsonist has been busy at The Holler.

Multiple fires have recently broken out in our extremely fire prone region that have been effectively fought and extinguished by our incredible fire fighters. We live in Southern California in a climate-change worsened rural fire zone under constant threat of fire.

A highly unusual hurricane is forecasted to bring significant rain to the region this weekend which will be a blessing if it arrives.

We flew from The Holler fires to West Maui two weeks ago with the whole family in tow including the four year old twins who are in love with the ocean. (Click to enlarge).

The fires came with hurricane winds on the second day.

Power, all forms of communication, and food quickly perished and were not replaceable. We were informed by our condo hosts that water may be turned off.

Information was word of mouth. We knew there were three fires on Maui and one on Hawaii. We knew they were very serious. We knew they were close. We saw and smelled the smoke, but we didn’t yet know the extent of the carnage and the heartbreak. It was an extremely confusing time. No clarity about where to go or what to do. There was no access to the internet/iphone or information to make decisions.

We were in condos for three days during the fires that were supplied with no flashlights, candles or emergency supplies. We stood, with hundreds of other souls (mostly tourists), in line for food much of which was packaged and distributed by volunteer organizations, including, but not limited to, a church group in Tennessee. Thank you Volunteer Organizations! You make an incredible difference.

Thousands of tourists clogged the airport trying to follow the governor’s edict to leave Maui. Many were evacuated to a convention center in Oahu.

We left West Maui on the fourth day of the fires which required us to drive by the historic and beautiful town of Lahaina. I took no photos. Lahaina is a mass fatality zone. Photos would have been invasive and disrespectful.

We relocated to another part of the island until flying home yesterday. I include here some photos of beautiful Kihei Maui which escaped the flames, but not the pain.

(Click to enlarge). Maui is strong but she needs our help. It truly does make a significant difference. We experienced this first hand when we received desperately needed food and flashlights. If you are able, here are some organizations that need help, or chose an organization that you know and trust:

Love and solidarity to the suffering people of Maui~

391 thoughts on “Fire~

      1. Growing up in California, we watched the fire danger level signs and saw firsthand the danger and devastation. We had water stashed, knew how to evacuate quickly. (Grab pets, family photos, and laptop. Leave… everything else.) But we’ve never seen it on a scale like Maui. My heart bleeds for those who have lost so much.
        Thank you for sharing your wrenching experience.

        1. Your witness accounts of the fires are heart-rending. Your are so resourceful and courageous.There is still so much yet to be revealed, it seems. The people who deliberately start fires are nothing less than evil. It is difficult to imagine let alone empathise with their mentality. Thank God you and your loved ones are safe. Be strong.

  1. What happened on Maui is terrible. There are fires in the Northwest Territories and British Columbia but without loss of human lives as yet. Yellowknife is being evacuated. Arson at a time like this is a major crime and should be treated accordingly. Good to hear you’re home safely.

    1. Oh, I know Yellowknife. So totally heartbreaking Audrey. You live amongst the most gorgeous natural areas. I would have thought they would be the last to burn. It used to seem like it was only California that was always burning to the ground. But it no longer is. We are supposed to go to The Laurentides in late September for the fall colors. I need to catch up on the status of that horrific endless fire. Maui has been in a serious drought for many years. It no longer looks like Maui. It looks like Southern California. I have a special grievance against arsonists. They are such total cowards. I am beyond sorry this is happening in Canada too დ

    1. First of all, thank you so sincerely for your service. You make such a difference. In the chaos we were in, I so remember the food, how thoughtfully/intelligently it was selected to be what we needed. I know a variety of organizations provided the food. I have no idea which ones, except for the peanut butter and the church in Tennessee. I know The Red Cross was there. The Red Cross is always there. As a retired life long clincial social worker, it was pretty eye-opening to be in the amazing situation of being helped by others for no reason except them wanting to help. Thank you for what you do დ

      1. We are no longer volunteers [old age and infirmities have caught up with us] but it was very rewarding and we would encourage others to do the same time. In the meantime, recognizing that no organization is perfect, we continue to support the Red Cross. As you say, they are there, often before anyone else.

  2. Robyn

    I’m glad you and your family made it home safely. Scary! I can’t even imagine the pain and deep sorrow those poor families who lost loved ones in such a horrific way are going through. May God grant everyone strength and a road to peace. So awful.

  3. Oh, my goodness. What a terrifying time for tourists and locals. Relieved to read you and your family are safe. My heart breaks for the lives lost and the devastation. A beautiful place that I hold in my prayers and special memories. Thank you for showing respect and not sharing photos. πŸ™πŸ» Thanks too, for the link.

  4. Oh Cindy. I am so sorry to hear of an arsonist in The Holler, and Maui is a tragedy. It’s heartbreaking. We have fires everywhere here in Canada as well, and now much of the Northwest Territories (where I’ve worked for the last six years) are being evacuated.
    In my opinion anyone deliberately starting fires is a danger to society and should be locked up. I’m shocked at that. But I’m glad to hear that you and your family are safe. πŸ’›

    1. I have been reading about Yellowknife and the massive evacuation with sorrow and heartbreak. Bloggers are telling me of fires all over that I didn’t know about. Very sad and very scary დ

    1. Thank you Michael. An arsonist was caught a few years ago in California for starting fires in national parks. He was a criminology professor at a nearby university დ

  5. Fire! … a tragedy we know too well in Australia … the heartbreak affects all the communities involved … good to know you are safe now, and your situation gets that needed relief soon, Cindy

    1. Thank you Ivor. I was there for a fire near Melbourne after a long drought. Australia reminds me of home. But, more interesting. I remember people feeding koala bears water from their water bottles and I remember their burned feet დ

  6. Oh Cindy, to see such a terrible thing truly moves a heart to tears. And being so up close and personal really drives home just how incredible the event is, the response of those charities and the difference they can truly make. There should be an individual state emergency supply of the basics of food, water, light & some form of sleeping, be it a tent and or sleeping bags available for things like this. Plenty of money for so many other things not an emergency, but so slow when its needed. Much love and light to you and family kind lady, and all those grieving for their incredible losses in Maui β€οΈπŸ™

  7. We see far too much of the devastation of the fire that swept through Lahaina on television – milking the drama and tragedy for all it is worth. Far more useful would be to add a list of organisations one could donate to in order to relieve some of the difficulties those communities are facing. Good on you, Cindy!

  8. So sad to hear of the devastation this is causing. Australia has faced this many times, it’s never easy. So glad you are home and thank you for offering the links to support them πŸ’•πŸ™πŸ»

    1. I was in Melbourne for one such fire. Terrible and scary. I will never foget the images of koalas with burnt feet and hands being rescued from trees by people and given water from their personal water bottles დ

  9. These fires are getting worse every year, Hawaii, Greece, Tenerife, Northern Canada-its never ending and scary. So sorry to hear there are fires at the Holler. Glad you and your family were able to leave Maui safely. xo

  10. This devastation is truly terrible, and I’m sorry that you too have been caught up in it. I don’t know if any arson is suspected here – that hasn’t been mentioned here in Britain, but too often, that’s how these fires start. Unimaginable. My own go-to charity for most human-centred catastrophes is World Central Kitchens (, who provide nourishing food for survivors and key workers in the immediate aftermath.

  11. Escaping an arsonist who should be locked up or sent to every disaster area to find yourself at the mercy of the fires in Maui is so awful but you are now home safely. The images you did take are lovely, Cindy but I admire your sensitively and respect not to take images in Maui…These fires that are raging around the world seem to be increasing it enough we have climate change to condend with without the work of an arsonist as is often the case…Stay safe x


  13. Earth is big, big and wild. We forget sometimes. Yours is a good heart for sharing your experience exactly as you did. Don’t like but don’t mind so much when wildness takes a bite, but when humans make it more – don’t like thinking we include that insanity within ourselves. This was meant to be paradise.

    Thanks for all you said. Glad you are safe and home.

  14. hutschi

    Hi, I am glad that you aree home again. Everywhere on earth there are climate catastrophes now. I am so very sorry. Thank you for showing your experiences.
    I wish you good luck. May we all change our behaviour, if possible.

    1. What a horrendous experience, Cindy. Fires on the Hawaiian islands seem so out-of place. We’ve just endured smoke from nearby fires in North Idaho. Now it’s super windy so red flag warnings are in effect. That same weather system coming from Baja is also predicted to head as far north as we are in Spokane. Keeping our fingers crossed its wet enough not to spark new fires. I’m glad to read you are safe now. My heart goes out to the residents of Maui. My BIL knows many friends there. ❀️

      1. Yikes! Idaho too??? Simply terrible. You’re sadly right, the storm will bring intense heat and wind before the rain raising the risk of fire. All is still and quiet now, before the storm. Stay safe & well Terri დ

    1. Oh, Cindy, it is all so awful. So glad you are okay but it must have been totally nerve-wracking and harrowung. It was good of you not to take pictures. What a terrible thung!! Looks like this is the new world we are living in. It is ailing in so many ways. What a mess we have made. Mauhi seems like such a special place. May God bless all of us with extra prayers for Mauhi!

      1. Lorraine Montgomery

        We live in strange times. I’m so thankful God kept you safe and I pray for the people of Maui. Thank you for sharing your experience β€” it makes it so much more real, the fear palpable, the devastation beyond description. God bless the firefighters and volunteers. Rest and recover from the trauma.

        1. WP is messing up comments synch. This is in reply to Lorraine Montgomery. Your prayers and concerns are so very appreciated Lorraine. Thank you my friend. I am most grateful დ

      2. WP is messing up comments synch. This is in reply to stockdalewolfe. You are exactly righ, nerve-wracking and harrowing. Thank you for caring. I share your frustration at the mess we are making of our world დ

  15. Thanks for not posting photos and good that your family is ok. How awful to come home to a place where there are also fires; hope the arsonist is stopped.

  16. Alethea

    Thank your bringing more awareness to this climate crisis we are facing, and which you have poignantly experienced first hand.

  17. Oh no! Thank goodness your family is safe. (P.S. I was messing around with my WordPress account and lost EHN/AWC πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ. I now have a completely new account under Lysa Shimkus.)

  18. I am appalled people have deliberately set fires in the Holler. What the hell, people? Can you not see the world is burning enough?
    As for Maui, I am so happy you and your family are safe. That must have been a hugely scary experience. This is such a devastating situation.

  19. Cindy, so glad to hear you and your family are safely home. It is so heartwarming to hear stories of the many volunteers that come to the rescue during catastrophes like this. We witnessed it first hand on a much smaller scale when Hurricane Matthew caused damage here one year and Hurricane Irma came through the next year. My heart goes out to the residents of Maui that are affected. Thank you for the link to the organizations providing assistance.

    1. I hear you and understand. It is such contrasting juxtaposition, people who start fires for fun, and people who voluntarily come out to help the ones who are harmed. Thank God there are so many more people in the second group. I am glad you are okay დ

  20. That’s very scary about the arsonist at the Holler. What is wrong with people??? And thank you for sharing the first hand account from your time in Maui. What heartbreak for everyone there, and putting life back together takes such a long time. I’ve been reading, too, about all the pets and other animals who need medical and other care post-event. Very rough and sad days.

    1. The animals remind me of the fires when we were in Melbourne, where volunteers were rescuing koalas from trees with burnt hands and feet and giving them water from their personal water bottles. Heartbreaking დ

  21. Thank God you and your family are safe, what a terrifying experience for you all to go through. My prayers are with the people of Maui who have suffered such devastation. Wishing you all the best, Cindy.

  22. We loved Maui and pray for the people there. Good to make a $$$ donation to help them recover. And a pox on the arsonist in your area! I hope they catch the person.

  23. Cindy, your words in this post are as beautiful as your photos. I was moved at your natural decision to not take photos of Lahaina. Thank you for giving us a birds eye account of this tragedy.

  24. Maui was special for me, it’s small, low key and very welcoming. I remember doing all of our shopping and eating in Lahaina. It looks overwhelming, it’s like they need bulldoze the area and start over.

      1. There are many to point the finger at. Not turning off the power was a big mistake. I love how the guy in charge the said cutting the power wasn’t an easy thing and that people would be left with out electricity or water. That’s much better than losing an entire much loved town. It’s heart breaking. Now is the time to give to the Red Cross.

  25. Sorry to read about the fires you’ve been experiencing, Cindy. It’s so hard to watch the news these days. Sorry also your vacation was impacted, but I am glad you and your family are safe. I hope the rain from Hilary dampens the fire threat, but with no major flooding. What a year it has been for weather!

  26. People deliberately have set fires at The Holler?? What were they thinking?? I’m simply appalled. I’m glad you made it out of Hawaii safely, Cindy, and like everyone else, I’m just stunned at the devastation. Such a beautiful place and how tragic that residents have lost so much. Thanks for the links to the helping organizations!

    1. It is beyond appalling. Arsonists are such cowardly serial killers. So many fires are started by them. So much destruction. Our fires have started by rural roads. A cowardly toss from a moving car დ

  27. How scary and horrific both about the arsonist and also about Maui. 😒 I am so glad you and your family are okay, but my heart hurts for the people of Maui. πŸ’— I hope they will catch the arsonist soon. Some people are pure evil.

    1. Thank you Teresa. The stories out of Maui are heartbreaking and now Yellowknife is burning too. “Some say the world will end in fire….” Too sad for words დ

  28. Carolina Mom

    Cindy, I can’t believe you had to experience that! I keep following the news about Maui wildfire and it is devastating! I am glad you and your family are doing well! 🀍

  29. Cindy, I’m relieved to hear you and your family are safe and sound. I suspect a lot of our fires in Canada are the results of arsonists too.

  30. Glad you, Cindy and your family made it to safety, yet in the Holler fires too. It us terrible with so many fires in the world right now.
    The volunteers which are helping are amazing. I feel and pray for the people who lost their lively hood and everything.
    It must have been very scary out there.

    1. Thank you Jo. It was humbling and a valuable learning experience to be in the very long lines waiting for a charitable handout, waiting for food. We did it everyday we were in West Maui and the day I was in line there was no food to be had დ

  31. Deborah

    Not a post to *like*, if that’s okay.

    When had the serious wildfires in the COS region about ten years ago, that brought out the firebugs too. Don’t understand the mentality behind it. Hope you’re able to stay clear of those in your Holler.

    The Maui experience, that has to be the ultimate ‘yikes’ experience to be caught in. Part of our family, is from Hawaii, through our dad’s side, as you know. I don’t think we have any relatives living on Maui. It’s both worrisome and disheartening in terms of the official response and their lack of preparedness. Even now, the lack of information is unforgivable and having to depend on distant volunteer groups to distribute relief supplies. I’m not worried at all about the celebrity ‘residents’ like Oprah and Mick Fleetwood; it’s not like they’re living in a tent down on the beach, eating off paper plates with their fingers.

    I hope our donation of water and med supplies gets to where it needs to be. We donated through a local MD group there, and through the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army has a large presence throughout the islands, so they’re a good resource. Make sure you mark your donation for Maui relief, and it’ll get there.

    Glad you and the family got home safely.

    1. Not liking is more than okay. Thank you for your sensitivity and concern Deborah. There is nothing at all to like about all these horrible fires. And yes, interesting how celebrities so often manage to get their photos taken whilst ‘doing good.’ It is a distraction. I heard they wouldn’t let Oprah into Lahaina. Possibly they don’t need another celebrity photo op. Oprah has such a vast Maui property, with no trespassing signs blocking access to trails and nature. And now Yellowknife and the stunning and remote Yukon is burning too. 20,000 souls evacuated დ

      1. Deborah

        I knew Oprah had property there, but didn’t realize her land holdings was that large to put up signs and block trails. When she showed up with a photog and videography crew to ‘distribute’ relief, I’m glad she was refused entry.

        1. Oprah owns approx. 1000 acres. Zuckerberg approx. 1400 acres. Apparently you can’t buy too much of a good thing, even if it keeps Hawaiian lands out of Hawaiian hands. Paul Ellison owns 98% of Lanai. Billionaires are basically buying a US state as their own personal playground.

          1. Deborah

            Lanai was essentially an all-private island largely owned by Dole. I only know this through my grandma. They used the land for pineapple and cane production. They may have had a general partnership group at some point. When the first resort opened there in the 1970s(?), it was a very exclusive one. Somewhere neither of us could afford to stay a night. Ni’ihua is private in a sense; it is all Hawaiian homeland. You need to be pure Hawaiian to live there, which is fine by me. It’s their land anyway. The one with the stories is my dad …

              1. Deborah

                Had to add you back to the follower list. They had decided to remove you from the list. Explains the Automattic in WP.

                    1. Pretty intense wind gusts just started. Raining hard now, but nothing extreme. The deserts I think are getting hit harder Lots of flash flooding, but these are on alluvial flood plains. We did get a 5.1 eathquake too, so we are now in a huriquake! Smiling……

  32. When you say “Fire”, you mean it.
    Who would do that…I mean be an arsonist?
    I guess not all brains are wired equally. Then there are experiences in lives that effect the wiring.
    Thank goodness the fires got put out! I hope the arsonist gets caught.

    It is a zemblanity that you were in Maui at that time, Cindy.
    I’m happy you & yours are okay, and got to go home.
    Yet, traumatic sadness for those whose home it was.

    We humans have made a mess of the planet.

    Northern Canada continues to burn.
    Now, it’s the Yukon.
    Towns are being evacuated there. Homes and towns burned to the ground.
    Yellowknife, the capital city is being evacuated.

    One day a major population city might have to evacuate. It seems to be coming.

    1. I have been hearing and reading about Yellowknife and the stunning Yukon. It is hard to get my head around the scope of Canada’s fires this summer and the destruction of such pristine wilderness. Canada has always seemed so water rich and verdant. So painful to imagine the destruction. The planet is shouting at us and we are not hearing. You’re right, major cities will likely burn. Will we hear the planet’s message then? დ

      1. It’s crazy!
        Now Kelowna B.C. is burning. Part has already burned down.
        Ontario has 250,00+ fresh water lakes, 1/5 of the planet’s fresh water. Still, we are on fire.
        Fire doesn’t care.
        When it floods, water doesn’t care.
        I just saw an update on Kelowna & Yellowknife. It pointed at Winnipeg as the next worry, in the middle of a tinder zone. OMG 1 million live there!
        It’s like that circular song “Where Have All The Flowers Gone”… ends up where it started…nowhere.

        1. I just can’t get over Canada’s fires. All summer long. Starting with Quebec where we are supposed to be in September. Everytime I have visited Canada throughout my life, and I have visited so often, I was so jealous of all the water, all the stunning verdant nature unmolested. It is just heartbreaking, so strange, so serious, so devastating. All the traumatized people. All the wild creatures. And now a Cat 4 fast moving Hurricane Hilary wider than Gulf of Mexico, with 145 mph sustained winds, is predicted to deadfall in Southern California, probably San Diego, this weekend. This has never happened. Tonight I photographed the monsoonal clouds that always hover over our local mountains in August, never moving west towards us, being sucked over the mountains in a huge wall towards us. I think the negative pressure of the massive hurricane is pulling them together to meet.

          1. Be safe from Hilary, Cindy!

            Canada might burn down, but we will have drinking water. (blithely said)

            I’m no scientist, but since the 70’s my generation protested the plastics throw away revolution, gas guzzling, carbon emissions, warned of over population and predicted climate disasters.

            Here we are. Just goes to show we are a smart , but lazy do nothing until it’s too late creature….. by and large.
            We are living through what we knew would happen.
            We won’t change, so we will have to adapt.

            I’ll be looking for those clouds on your blog. Again, be safe Cindy! ❦❦

            1. I just don’t even know what to say at this point. The news defies me wrapping my head around. Just love to everyone in Canada, and more love after that. Love to you Resa & stay safe my dear friend. So, so imcomprehensibly sad. You’re right. We had time and we failed to act and this living nightmare is the result.

  33. Hitting β€œLike” on a post about such a serious and tragic subject seem glib. But it is meant to thank you for your respectful reporting, your links to helping resources, and to express relief for your safety. May these ever-more-frequent messages from our planet finally be heard and heeded. Thanks, Cindy.

  34. Arsonists must be the lowest of the low. Pathetic excuses for a human being. I agree with your comment, Cindy, about not taking pictures. For the news reporters, it’s different. They are letting us know what happened and making the world aware so we can help, but as a tourist, I think your instincts were right, to be respectful.

    1. I agree with you. Arsonists are such cowards. I also agree with you about distasteful photography that takes photos of people that are invasive or privacy invading without their permission. I value people’s right to privacy even in public. This is especially true for me when people are experiencing trauma and grieving. Thank you for your sensitivity დ

      1. I remember as a child, standing outside our burning house, in my nightgown, in cold snowy weather late on Christmas Eve, and looking over beyond the firetruck to see one of the kids from my school gawking at me and our house on fire. That’s one of the reasons I can easily appreciate and respect people who politely turn their head away if they can’t do anything to help.

          1. That’s life. We learn and move on, but I will never forget that kid who stood and gawked. I know his name to this day but of course I won’t print it here. I sure do feel sorry for those people who are suffering because of the wildfires, especially the Maui ones. We suddenly have a lot of them in BC now too. We need a big dump of rain right now without lightning.

            1. I can’t believe the situation in Canada. Horrific. The last place I would have expected all the blow torch fires burning there this summer. And now a Cat 4 tropical hurricane Hilary predicted to deadfall in semi-desert Southern California, with San Diego in the crosshairs. Unprecendented. Horrific. I pray you get rain. I think we may be in the weird position soon of actually being able to spare you lots.

  35. So very sad. Glad you and your family were able to get home safely. My husband, daughter, brother-in-law, and two sons- in -law were all wildland firefighters or volunteer firefighters for several years. One son-in-law still is. I hate fires and like you dispise arsonists.

    1. Fires are horrendous. Firefighters are incredible. Watching them work here has been awe inspiring. They coordinate their response between Cal Fire, local fire departments, and SDGE. They use helicopters and planes. They operate like a finely tuned miliatary operation and they put the fires out! We are so grateful for them. The local battalion chief asked for my photos. I was so pleased to be able to voice my gratitude. Thank your family members for me დ

  36. Oh, Cindy, I am so thankful you and your family are home safe but really don’t know how to comment about the fires in your beloved Holler and the carnage you saw in Hawaii. My heart breaks for the people lost but also the devastation for the wildlife and displaced domestic animals. I can’t watch the news about it.
    Your grandson looks exactly how I pictured the twins – they are adorable and of course they will grow up loving the oceans and wonders of the world.Lucky children.
    Such wonderful opportunities.
    Get rested and ready for the hurricane season. It’s real.

  37. Janice Wood

    Glad you’re alright! We have friends living 2 miles from the fire and hosted many of the locals who fled their homes with the shirts on their back.

    I’m also in Southern Cal and bracing for a deluge. We’ll see when /if it arrives, how that pans out!

  38. How scary for the family! So glad you got out. Your fire photos are haunting. I am glad you did not take photos of the burned out town. Stay safe with the hurricane coming your way! Hurricane season is heating up!

  39. Cindy, I’m so sorry you and your family went through all of that. I’ve been to Maui and am very sad what has happened there and all the pain the people are going through. Be safe with what’s happening in your home. My daughter and family live in Irvine, CA. so I know what all of you are facing with the fires etc., and how dry everything has been.

    1. Thank you very much Michele. The tragedy in Maui is still unfolding. I am afraid there are going to be a great many deceased. Meanwhile 20K people have been evacuated from Yellowknife. Hurricane Hilary has created the first ever tropical storm watch for Southern California. Our planet is not happy with us! დ

  40. A horrible nightmare and to think people do these things on purpose. I’m with you, no photographs, just help. I truly hope they catch the person who did it, but I doubt that will happen. I’m glad you’re all safe and my heart goes out to those who were not. It’s a terrible thing. The destruction of beauty, that’s what too many things are turning to, nowadays. Organizations that provide food and help deserve our support and gratitude.

    1. As usual Gigi, you and I are in perfect accord. I think it might be likely that the fires in Maui may have started with hurricane winds and powerlines but I do not know any of this for certain. So much in Maui is currently uncertain except for the fact that it is a major tragedy involving tragic loss of life დ

  41. How harrowing for you and your family and especially the children with you. I’m sure you and the other adults maintained a sense of calm as much as possible for the sake of the little ones. Watching the tragedy unfold in Lahaina brings back so many memories of times and friends still there. And I hope they catch the arsonist near your beloved Holler. I had an arson fire in my first apartment at University – it was my next door neighbor. I lost almost everything but nobody was hurt in the fires that he set. You never know who hides an inner arsonist. I hope they put the Holler arsonist where he belongs and they throw away the key. Last but not least, I hope Hurricane Hilary brings you just enough rain but not too much that flooding or land erosion is in the cards. Take care Cindy and get as much rest and relaxation as possible under the circumstances.

    1. I am truly lucky to know friends like you. How traumatic about your fire at University. So creepy that is was your neighbor. I know this was an experience that stays with you for life. I am sorry it happened to you. Thank you for your thoughtful concern about me. It is so appreciated. Stay safe & take good care დ

      1. Hi Cindy, my friend. many thanks for your empathetic reply. You’re right that is the kind of experience that does stay with a person in one form or another for a long time. It is mostly just background noise that only awakens in certain situations, thank goodness. Wishing you and your family a similarly peaceful recovery from your very adventuresome Maui trip. And hoping the Hurricane takes it easy on you and the gorgeous birdlife and wildlife in your beloved Holler.

        1. Thank you very much for your concern my friend. Means quite a lot. That ‘background noise’ is trauma, a loss of trust and faith at a young age. Of course it hovers around in the background of your life and arises when you wish it wouldn’t. I am so sorry this happened to you. And thank you for thinking about our birds. I am seriously worried about them. This is a massive storm headed our way. The monsoonal clouds that hover over the mountains east of us every August are being sucked westwards towards us in a big wall. I have never seen anything like this before. I photographed it. I think the negative pressure from the hurricance is pulling the monsoon west. I worry about the winds and our desert birds. The California Quail have been here steadily for the past month which thrills me to no end. I haven’t photographed them because they are so shy. I am waiting for them to get comfortable. The roadrunners hate the slightest rain and shelter in our garages and let us approach closely when it rains. And the winds are going to be so strong. These are not hurricane birds. They can’t fly out to sea. Hopefully it will not be as bad as predicted which does often happen with SoCal weather.

          1. Good morning Cindy. You’re welcome. Yes, I couldn’t help thinking about your birds and critters being faced with such an impactful storm. You have shown us so many photos of them over the years – gorgeous and delicate and occasionally humorous. I hope your Roadrunners will again shelter in the garage and I would so love to see your Quail. Fingers crossed that they have little sheltered areas already. And of course I’m concerned for your Heron(s) – how could I not be? Your description of that wall of monsoonal clouds being pulled towards you sounds ominous – as though you will get big rains from both the monsoons to the East and Hilary from the West. And your description of the negative pressure pulling it towards you is evocative of the way a tsunami sucks the waters from the shore far out to sea! Oh my! Having lived on the Gulf Coast of Florida for the late 70s and early 80s, preparing for hurricanes is still fresh in memory, but in your area? Boarding up windows might be overkill? Stocking shelf stable food, flashligjtd, batteries, candles, matches, etc is probably second nature for you from earthquake preparedness. And as the media keep reporting, SoCal weather hasn’t included a tropical storm for more than 80 years. May this all just be a “fire drill” that has minimal impacts, especially in your beloved Holler. Be well, be safe my friend. Thanks again for your empathy and understanding.

  42. This was a difficult post to “Like” with the tale of the fires in both SoCal and Hawaii. But at least there was some pleasure in between those two tragic situations. And especially that on Maui will have sad lasting effects.. It is going to take a huge effort by many, both monetarily and in terms of physical efforts, to recover and for all too many recovery may be impossible. And aside from that, the loss of life is incredibly sad.

    1. Thank you Steve. I fear the loss of life in Maui is going to be horrendous. It must be so excruciatingly painful to have lost loved ones to fire or be waiting for news of missing family members. It is incredibly sad დ

      1. It seems like the current numbers will be dwarfed once all are accounted for if that ever happens. Many may be lost in the ocean when trying to escape the fire. Just an awful situation.
        I saw that a lot of people were upset about no warning sirens but the explanation was that the sirens mean a tsunami is coming and that would have driven folks inland which was just the opposite of what should happen. I don’t know if that is an excuse or real but it does make a little sense.

        1. Arson is disgusting and so cowardly. The fires in The Holler were likely caused by an arsonist, but in Maui the fires may have been caused by electrical lines and hurricane winds. I haven’t read that anything is definitive yet though. There are over 1000 people in Maui who are still missing and unaccounted for. This will be a long and very painful process.

  43. Oh, Cindy, I’m so thankful you and your family are safe and back home and I’ll be praying for the police to catch and stop those arsonists. We’re watching the approach of the hurricane, too, as our son’s family is in southern California also. Thanks for those links to organizations to help Maui. Praying for you all!

    1. Bless you for your thoughts and prayers Kathy. You are so appreciated. We are watching Hilary closely too. I know it must be so worrisome to have your son and family in the path and you not with him. This is a monster of an unprecedented storm. It’s diameter is bigger than The Gulf of Mexico, Category 4 and moving fast. Hopefully your son has flashlights, non-perishable food, and bottled water. On the positive side, the rain may reduce the awful risk of fire. Praying for everyone in these chaotic times დ

  44. That must have been scary on Maui. I’ve been there a couple of times, sad to see what has happened. Hope they catch that arsonist, people like that need to be taken off the street. We’ve been getting warnings that the hurricane remnants might make it as far as here in Reno, NV. Glad to hear you’re safe and back home.

    1. Thank you very much Andrew. And yes, Hurricane Hilary is now a Monster. Cat 4 with 145mph sustained winds, as big in diameter as The Gulf of Mexico, and moving very fast. Landfall is likely SoCal, and yes Nevada and Arizona are expected to get some impacts as well. Unheard of storm for this region. The world is whacky დ

  45. Cindy I’ve read this twice, and needed to let it sit for a bit. I’m sorry to see evidence of a firebug in the Holler and equally horrified by the death and destruction in Maui. It’s a brutal irony as well that you would leave to escape one set of fires, only to be confronted with another. I hope you’re being kind to yourself. It will take time to process that trauma, yours and the trauma around you while you were there. I haven’t been to Maui in over thirty years but I remember it fondly. I’m sending a virtual hug your way along with hope for a better future. Stay safe. xo

    1. Thank you for understanding. As usual, one copes in the emergent situation, but there is always the aftermath, where what happened slowly hits you. It takes time. And now Cat 4 Hurricane Hilary is coming to call in San Diego. It never rains in Southern California, or has hurricanes დ

      1. It does take time. I’ve been caught off guard more than once over the years, when I’m overcome by something seemingly unrelated (or unexpected). I went to see the AIDS Memorial Quilt many years ago, and though I know one of the men who had died, it was a shock to see his quilt. I sobbed one of those deep, agonizing cries, as I think the entire AIDS crisis seemed to hit home. With a background in theater, I knew many men who succumbed in that first decade.

        I hope you are mananging in the now.

  46. What a tragedy at home and heartbreak in Maui. Being a witness to danger and devastation must have been so hard for you all. So glad you were together and survived with the help of good hearted souls. They deserve our support, love and gratitude. πŸ’πŸ™πŸ»πŸ’ž

  47. What a horrible and tragic event, and to be there firsthand…unbelievable. I live in British Columbia and as I write this, more communities are being evacuated almost every hour. It’s so surreal. I live in an area not yet affected by fire, but we all need to stay vigilant. And now I hear that a hurricane’s heading for California. Stay safe!

    1. It feels surreal, and serious, which is a terrible combination. Canada and Hawaii with catastrophic blow torch fires, a category 4 tropical hurricane wider than The Gulf of Mexico heading for landfall in semi-desert San Diego. It seems like we have really pissed off Mother Nature. Thoughts and prayers for everyone დ

  48. I knew what was coming here,Cindy and it’s going to take me a bit to absorb it all. Fire is…. it will take me awhile to come back here and comment fully. Maybe by tomorrow night I can wrap my head around it all. I lived in S. CA for 25 years. I know. I’ve been evacuated from this area in 2001. Till later.

    1. I hear you. I understand. Take your time. I was evacuated in 2007. 1200 homes burned down in that one fire. And there were more fires at the same time. People died. But not nearly as many families and people as have died in Maui დ

  49. Wonderful to hear your family were able to get home safely! My wife and I visited the main island for our anniversary some years ago, and loved our time there, experiencing the culture. It’s a heartbreaking situation, and we’re keeping everyone in our thoughts and prayers!

  50. Oh my, so much fire for you. Am so glad your Holler fires were so quickly extinguished. We have a fire alert app for our area in Spain. And a good reaction time by the forest fire service but any fire can be dangerous and unpredictable. I am so saddened by the fires in Maui and you bring it very close too by being there and it must have been terrifying. Will support in whatever way I can. Take care and wishing you and your family some time to recover and to all those so severely affected.

    1. So very kind and sincerely appreciated. Your fire response sounds very similar to ours at The Holler. Rapid, capable and super impressive. You are so right though, fires, especially in drought ridden areas are so dangerpus and unpredictable. Poor Canada. 200+ fires currently burning there. Horrific დ

        1. I hear you. Now there are 885 currently burning fires in Canada. They are praying for rain, as a hurricane with massive amounts of rain approaches the deserts of Southern California. It is just unreal.

  51. What a horror scenario. Good thing you made it out alive, I know of others who didn’t make it. We have been supporting the Red Cross for yI really hope that you will recover soon, at least physically.ears and are now doing it more because we have got to know their enormous commitment.

  52. I had no idea that you were in Maui during the fires: how awful that must’ve been! I’m glad that you made it home safely, although it’s terrible to think of all the people that lost their lives πŸ˜₯

    On another note, I hope that the fires in the Holler are brought under control soon, if they haven’t been already. It’s a scary reality that we’re living in now.

  53. So thankful that you wrote this post. Yes they ned our help and I hope we all will come together. My family and I were just there. I’m so glad you and your family are safe.

  54. Thank you for helping us “see” what’s happening where you are, and also in Maui. The loss there is incomprehensible to me. I’m thankful for your safety and hope that you remain safe in the fires there as well as the hurricane that’s coming. Take care, Cindy.

  55. I may be repeating this reply but wanted to tell you we are thinking of you. What a horrible experience you had and even though you are now safe and sound you must be reliving some of all those fearsome memories.

    1. It is so wonderful to hear from you Dor! Thank you very much for your concern. So appreciated. I hope you and yours are doing well. I think you have a son in Carlsbad??? Hopefully he is battening down the hatches. Heading over to your blog now to see if I missed any posts from you. Stay safe & well my friend დ

  56. Oh, Cindy, what a story. Thankful that you’re sad and back home although now dealing with this suspected arson. We will see how this hurricane effects SoCal. Hoping the rains put out your fires! Stay safe and thanks for sharing.

    1. I knew exactly what you meant Jane. Thank you my friend. The sunsets last night and tonight are the most unusual I have ever seen in Southern California and I have lived here all my life. I took photos of course, and now we wait, in the expectant quiet before the storm. Most of the birds have left. They are smart. Stay safe & well my friend დ

  57. Yours is the only first-hand account I have read. I can imagine how confusing and disturbing it would be, to be on an island in a disaster. You may have already mentioned it, but had you been staying in Kihei when you had to leave? That is where my late husband and I stayed ten years ago. I well remember an afternoon and evening in Lahaina that we enjoyed, and it is hard to think about the lovely town being blackened and destroyed.

    1. Yes. We relocated to Kihei. A wonderful women found us a place. I am so grateful to her. The whole situation is beyond terrible. There are still 1000 missing people in Lahaina დ

    1. Thank you Barbara. It is horrible isn’t it. So much trauma, grief and loss. And now Canada has 885 currently burning fires. My mind is failing to comprehend the scope of all of this დ

    1. 855 fires burning in Canada now. It is shocking and surreal. The hurricane that is blowing through here is supposed to bring rains to British Columbia. Seriously hoping it does დ

  58. The Maui fires were so tragic, and it must have been very frightening to be there at that time. Lahaina is showing signs of life!
    I am concerned for you at the Holler! I pray the hurricane brings you much needed rain, and hold you and your whole area in the light.

    1. Thank you sincerely my friend. The numbers of missing in Maui are my biggest concern. The estimates seem to be 500-1000. This is a potentially catastrophic loss of human life დ

  59. So glad you’re back home safe. And total respect for not taking pictures. The videos on the news were horrific. Every day there are new climate spurred events and the sinking feeling that not enough is being done. But yes, kudos to volunteer organizations everywhere who step in when most needed.

    1. Thank you very much Rajani. Sincerely appreciated. I share your sinking feeling. There are daily climate catasrophes now. Hard for me to understand how anyone can maintain denial დ

    1. Thank you John. I keep watching the numbers of missing in Maui and it is heartbreaking. We are getting heavy rain now and some intense wind gusts. Power just came back on and then there was a 5.1 earthquake. So we are now having a huriquake დ

  60. Mary Sweeney

    Wow, Cindy! Glad to hear you and your family escaped the awful devastation in Maui. Praying for those families who lost loved ones and their homes. So sad. I’m sorry to see fire touched The Holler, too!

    1. Thank you very much Mary. The tragedy in Maui is heartbreaking. So many families facing such devastating loss of family members and children. Thank you for your prayers and your concern დ

  61. Every single year the fire kills California forests. It looks like there is nothing to burn there, but it happens again and again. As I understand and knew, not all of fires are provoked by people, however negligence and careless are the most reason of this disaster. It is horrible!
    The longer we live the more dangerous World become!!! Now you have hundred times to think before leaving the home for trip.
    Thanks God you are home and safe!

    1. Yes. I am serioulsy reconsidering upcoming trips. One was to Canada in a month. But they don’t need tourists distracting resources from 855 currently burning fires. It is beyond terrible. I so appreciate your kind concern Alexander. Take very good care my friend დ

      1. This year is lost for us. Many things happened and some still are waiting their turn. Living with hope of better days.
        Anyway, life is wonderful!
        Take care and all the best to you and yoursβ€οΈπŸ™

  62. Angie K Walker

    Just as I’m reading this – there is an item on our radio about California rains. How shocking for you – stay safe . X

  63. The fires in Hawaii are so tragic and the tragedy is in the loss of so many things starting with the loss of life and the loss of the history the loss of buildings and homes and everything connected with life on that island there’s a little for my understanding there’s a little left of it space and so much just absolute unmitigated loss I’m so sad that for her and so I don’t know what to say even just that I love him prayers to everyone there and I hope that all everyone survives that can and that people will be well and eventually back to normal and happy and the what about you your place and you hurricanes heavy rains and the earthquake and the thing that I wanted to move to California at one point all of this is really selling me against the idea hahaha take care coz and I love it to you

    1. You are so kind and thoughtful Paul. I share your heartbreak about the tragedy in Maui. Thank you for your concern and your sensitivity. I hope you are safe & well cuz დ

  64. I’m heartbroken about Maui, and the devastation in Lahaina. I have no words.
    Stay safe, Cindy – as if the fires at home and in Maui were not more than enough, you came back to a tropical storm & an earthquake. I hope the family is all well.

  65. It is one thing for nature to unleash its force on the land and people but it is unforgiveable when humans create such devastation by their acts of wanton evil.. It is a tragedy beyond comprehension in Maui and also the fires in Canada at the moment. As always your photos tell a story Cindy and you have captured both the horrific power of unchecked fires and the beauty that it seeks to destroy. β™₯

  66. I’m so glad you were able to leave Maui, however, I am so sorry for the people there – especially Lahaina. Bless the hearts of the volunteers and the firefighters everywhere! I hope this reply finds you safe from the fires, flooding, and rumbling.

  67. Thanks for sharing this well-written account of your personal experience, Cindy, and I am sorry you and all of Maui are going through the numerous stages of pain. I love Maui, such a beautiful place in the world. And I was a huge fan of Cheeseburgers in Paradise, now gone. Our hearts go out….

  68. OMG, you were there… So sorry to hear your own experience, Cindy. Glad to know you and your family were safe! I saw the flood in S Calif on TV. Hope you are okay.

  69. I’m sorry you had to go through that traumatic experience on Maui, Cindy, but I’m glad you and your family are safe.
    I hope the recent rain helped extinguish the fires near the Holler. It’s unfathomable that some of them are started by arsonists. Who are those people?

    1. Thanks very much Tanja for your very thoughtful concern. Arsonists are destructive human beings. The rains has definitely helped at The Holler. We got quite a lot which is unheard of in late August. Take good care my friend & thank you დ

  70. Omg, what timing. So glad you are home safe – so many others are not. God bless Maui and all its people for this horrendous dystopian disaster. <3

  71. I’m so glad you and your family are home safe. The fire news is devastating. I sent a little to the Maui volunteers. Thank you for providing the links. They really do make such an incredible difference.

  72. I am so glad that you and your family are safe! So sad about Maui and all the people who lost their lives or went missing. I’m sorry you and your family left the fires at home and then found more fire in Maui. We left S. California and are now in Denver early, because of the hurricane that was coming through. Fortunately no one was hurt and none of our property or land was ruined. I was told our area actually had minimal rain and wind. Again, I am so sorry you were without supplies and waiting in lines. My daughter is 4 so I’m thinking about your grandchildren and what an adjustment all of that was. Is all settled now? How are all of you? As you can imagine I didn’t expect to see a post about fires ☹️ Is the Holler safe from smoke now?

    1. Your thoughtfulness is so very appreciated. Thank you very much. The twins are doing well. They thought we were camping by the beach, thank God. We are all safe and well. The hurricane brought needed rain, but things are heating up now. The fall colors are coming soon to Denver soon. So beautiful. Enjoy! Stay safe & well my friend დ

      1. WP did not show your reply to me so I came back and read it because I figured it was here. I’m not sure why I am not getting the notifications. In any event, I’m glad that this wasn’t traumatic for the twins!! So glad you are all well & safe. We come back from Denver in the beginning of September so will miss the fall colors. Where are you headed next? It’s so nice to be traveling again. I also love vicariously traveling via your blog! πŸ˜ƒ

        1. WP gremlins are so frustrating. You have my full empathy. We were supposed to be heading to Canada in a month, but with all the fires, we cancelled. We do not want to get in the way or utilize needed resources. Enjoy your time in Colorado.

  73. I am so sorry to hear about Fire in the Holler, Cindy. It seems that our entire world is on fire. We have been under smoke for several days in Vancouver, but that doesn’t compare to what is happening in the interior of British Columbia and the North West Territories. Thousands have had to flee homes across B.C. The 2023 wildfire season is our most destructive on record. In NWT as of today, there has been an estimated 3,282 square kilometers that have been burned and there are 239 active fires with new fires coming. We are praying for rain.

    1. The situation in Canada with all the devastating fires feels apocalyptic. Canada is the last place I would have expected this to happen. Such devastating loss and destruction. I am so very sorry. It feels like much of the world is on fire. Stay safe Rebecca დ

      1. Apocalyptic is the exact word that I would use. It seems that fires are increasing over the world. According to a recent report from World Weather Attribution, climate change played a significant role in Canada’s wildfires. SIGH.

  74. Cindy, I’m so very sorry to hear of your distressing experience at such a terrible time in Hawaii. I also wanted to thank you so very much for all your beautiful and very much appreciated comments on my site. I cannot thank you there because it says everything I write is a “duplicate” – which it isn’t. Thank you so much for all your kind comments. Peace and blessings.

    1. Peace, blessings and friendship flying back to you Sharon, along with sincere admiration for all the good you do my friend. I am so sorry The WP gremlins are bothering you. They never sleep! Stay safe & well დდ

  75. Diane

    To quote Shakespeare: “Hell is empty and all the devils are here.”

    The Tempest

    We must hold fast to what is precious.

  76. What an awful experience Cindy – and so unfortunate that you and the children had their holiday ruined. But I’m pleased that you are all safe. One feels so helpless looking at all these disasters on the media these days.

  77. Pingback: Reblog: Via Cindy Knoke #mauistrong – Things I find on the beach

  78. Oh my gosh … I can feel my heart racing while I read this… Im so glad you’ve made it out and your family is safe and sound. So many hugs, what a moment for you all and so many others.. I’ve been to Lahaina and have so many memories and photos of it at its best.. I pray for the restoration continues to bring healing and strength to everyone. I know it will rise even better .

  79. Pingback: Wildfires all over the northern hemisphere in 2023 – Some View on the World

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