As you may have already heard, Hawai’i Island and Maui both battled wildfires earlier this week. While the fires on our island were quickly contained, our beautiful neighbor island of Maui was not so fortunate. Both fires have prompted messages and questions, and we hope to address them all today, so keep reading.
Is it safe to travel to Hawai’i right now?
We’d like to start by saying a huge mahalo to everyone who has reached out, concerned about our safety. Your concern means the world to us and we want to assure you that we are indeed safe here in Volcano, Hawai’i.
For those of you who have asked if it’s safe to visit Hawai’i right now, the short answer is: That depends on where you’re planning to visit.
The long answer is that no one should be planning a visit to the island of Maui anytime soon. On Tuesday, August 8th, a large fire broke out, destroying most of the historic town of Lahaina, which was the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1802 when King Kamehameha chose to construct a brick palace there. A combination of strong winds, dry conditions, and other environmental factors caused the unusual fire to spread rapidly and uncontrollably.
From first responders to airlines, much of the island’s resources are going toward helping those who lost their homes, businesses, and more during this devastating fire. If you were planning an upcoming trip to Maui, we ask that you help ease the burden on local infrastructure and reschedule your trip.
Is it safe to travel to Volcano, HI right now?
If you still have your heart set on visiting Hawai’i, we’d like to invite you to visit Volcano, HI instead! Although there were brush fires reported in North and South Kohala on Tuesday, they were quickly contained. Any evacuations were lifted and all roads were opened as of Wednesday afternoon.
Summer brushfires are not unheard of in Hawai’i and our amazing firefighters are renowned for containing them at record speed, as was the case with the most recent Big Island fires, which happened nearly 100 miles away from Volcano.
Thanks to the vigilance of the park rangers at Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, remote dry areas of the park are occasionally closed to vehicles if there’s any sign of a fire risk. At this time, that includes Mauna Loa Road past the gate at Kīpukapuaulu and Hilina Pali Road past Kulanaokuaiki Campground. If you’re considering visiting the park and Volcano Village, we can assure you that it’s safe and we can’t wait to welcome you to our lush, enchanted corner of the island!
Is there something I can do to help?
Glad you asked! As far as helping to prevent wildfires, here are a few tips from our friends at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park on how you can do your part:
Take extra precautions before venturing out and be careful with anything that could start a fire, including driving or parking vehicles on dry vegetation.
Stay informed of current and predicted environmental conditions such as weather and drying vegetation.
Be aware of local public safety area closures and campfire restrictions, and note the local or park emergency number for reporting a fire. And we shouldn’t have to say this but… never throw or drop cigarettes, matches, or any other burning substance on the ground or even in garbage cans.
If you’d like to help by offering support or making a donation, here are a few reputable non-profits to connect with:
Plan Your Visit to Volcano
If you have any questions about visiting Hawai’i right now, please reach out! When it comes to planning a trip to the Big Island, you can rest assured that it’s safe to stay in Volcano, Hawai’i, and visit Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. Located in the heart of Volcano Village, Hawai’i, our cottages are only five minutes from the park, so book your stay at Tutu’s Place or the Ola’a House today.