The Maui fire tragedy

Well, we have had another disaster recently - this time in Maui
I am just a layman and so am asking if the following is possible - send out thousands of drones equipped with heat sensors and if they sense an area is getting too hot and might blow up in a fire, alert the authorities? A bit of water should cool things down before the fire starts?
Prepare and prevent rather than repair and repent?

This was a fire-storm. Nothing can withstand such a natural calamity.


A firestorm is a conflagration which attains such intensity that it creates and sustains its own wind system. It is most commonly a natural phenomenon, created during some of the largest bushfires and wildfires. [Wikipedia]

(Firestorm - Wikipedia)

yeah that sounds like it’s been really horrible, there but for the grace of providence.
I’ve never been there, still it so sad hearing what happened to Lahaina, and to know this is just the beginning of the drum beat of precious places we will be losing these next decades. Really tragic, such a waste.

Yeah but, there’s lightening, sparks from power lines, or human activity, so no forewarning. Then the logistics of getting water, though in Hawaii that might not be an issue, but then comes the drones big enough to carry enough water to make a difference. Nice idea though.

But now you’ve got me thinking of wildfires, actually the drier it gets the more I’m doing that already. I fear the day a fire comes up the river valley when things are real dry, fortunately not this year, but I’ve seen it when it feels like a single match could explode the brush and then light the trees.
So far so good in this larger region we’ve been pretty luck, a fair amount of fire starts but the crews have been prepared and done a wonderful job stomping them out before getting too big.
July we have a hot spell like never before, but an early summer storm dropped a fair amount of water, so that helped with general humidity and we’re only now entering our dry period.

I’ve heard it said: There isn’t a direct relationship between climate change and fire.

But that simply doesn’t jive with watching wild fires here in southwestern Colorado.
A fire on a 80° day behaves very differently from a fire when it’s 100° For me the tell tail sign is the smoke plume. The bigger it gets and higher it goes, the more intense the fire,
I’ve no way to quantify it, but it came to me watching the Missionary Ridge Fire from my front row seat on the West side of upper Animas Valley north of Trimble Hot Springs. It was quite the show and lasted for weeks. Some days temps in the upper nineties, but fortunately not that many. Would have hated to see something like that this past July when even at our 7000’ elevation, we hit a hundred for a solid week before breaking.

(Crazy to think that’s over twenty years ago now.)

Since then, when wildfires occur around here, I’ve made a point of trying to note the daily temperature and how the smoke plumes react and it sure seem to track.

??? - aren’t you putting the cart before the horse? I am talking about stopping a bushfire or wildfire from starting, BEFORE they become a fire-storm

The drones will alert the fire-men - not carry the water themselves. They are the canary in the coal-mine. sort of like your house alarm alerting you if there is a fire or an intruder.
And we seem to have this recency bias - I am talking about preventing ALL forest fires - not just this particular one

Okay, thanks for the clarification.

Still, that’s a big job, check it out

US Canada Fire Map (NASA & US Forest Service)

Tutorials and Examples

Good luck.

No it takes just one point of critical heat limit before the fire creates its own firestorm and at that point it becomes unstoppable. I heard that several gas-stations blew up and that might have contributed to the rapid development.

Food and money is being provided at the community level by volunteers!!! Where is the government???

What do you fear most?”
"I fear that love is not enough "


And do what at this stage? Can’t land a plane. Takes time by sea.
You have these kneejerk responses, always blaming the government for failing, but you have no idea what is needed.

Massive operations such as this are not solved in a day… The logistics are enormous and take a coordinated effort to be effective.

May I ask a question? Why do you have such a negative attitude toward all things government? I really have no idea what you expect from government.
Are you an anarchist?

1 Like

One can be an anarchist and keep some common sense.

One can, many cannot. I believe that has been demonstrated time and time again.

That strategy was tried and found impossible and unhealthy for the forest.

Yes, let’s stop thunder and lightning and control the sun’s heat output to prevent droughts.
image image

Preventing ALL forest fires???

How about stopping man’s destruction of the ecosystem??


My local news

What did you think about the 700 dollar one time payment to the people of Maui and the billions of dollars being spent to ukraine?

Let me remind you that the “people of Maui” are US citizens and will be provided that what is required to manage this terrible tragedy.

Why do you do this? It was Trump who threw paper towels to the people in Puerto Rico in ridicule.

Biden is committed to protect and preserve all states and citizens of the US.
Biden is one of our steadfast promotors of noblesse oblige, a time-tested virtue.

If they are a run of the mill theorist, then I’ve described this many times. They see problems, and need something to blame. It feels good to tell others they have the solutions. If they really have new info, it’s an odd way to present it. Or, maybe they really have the answers. Maybe we are blind sheep. It’s possible. Maybe if they say one more prodding thing we’ll wake up and see the light.

A New Day… image

That was the easiest “do your own research” ever.

FEMA is only giving Hawaii wildfire survivors $700 per household. |

It’s a little early to expect grand-scale relief to become implemented.
Let’s see what else is in the works.

The Administration continues to encourage individuals impacted by the disaster to register for Federal assistance at or by calling 1-800-621-3362.

More on the coordinated federal response:

  • There are almost 500 Federal personnel deployed to Maui to assist residents in their greatest time of need.

  • In the immediate aftermath of the fires, the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy supported maritime search and rescue operations, and U.S. Army helicopters supported fire suppression efforts on the Big Island.

  • As fire containment efforts continue, FEMA and its Federal partners continue response efforts. FEMA has deployed more than 140 Urban Search and Rescue personnel who have integrated with the Maui Fire Department to help conduct rescue operations.

  • In Maui, FEMA has provided 50,000 meals, 75,000 liters of water, 5,000 cots and 10,000 blankets and shelter supplies to the county government for distribution.

  • FEMA has also authorized Critical Needs Assistance (CNA) which provides a onetime payment of $700 per household to applicants who were displaced from their homes and have critical needs. CNA provides for lifesaving and life-sustaining items such as water, food, prescriptions, personal hygiene items, and fuel for transportation.

  • The Small Business Administration has dozens of staff on the island and has begun making low-interest Federal disaster loans available to Hawaii businesses, homeowners, renters, and nonprofits.

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service approved Hawaii’s request for impacted Child Nutrition Programs and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

  • The American Red Cross and Maui County continue to staff and support six shelters where food, water, hygiene kits and other essential resources are provided to survivors who are unable to return home. FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance Team members are deploying to shelters and helping people register for Federal assistance. Those affected by the fires may visit a Red Cross shelter to get a hot meal, charge their phone and access other essential support.

  • Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra approved a Public Health Emergency effective retroactively from August 8 through November 6, 2023.

  • In addition, 17 specialists from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team are on Maui, with additional teams en route to assist the state.

  • Local and national Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOADs) are providing emergency assistance to survivors. Those seeking to donate to the recovery efforts, can do so by visiting

  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is helping clear roads, stabilizing electric service and working with the Environmental Protection Agency on the removal of hazardous waste essential to recovery work in the affected areas.

  • The U.S. Forest Service Incident Management Teams and Wildfire Liaisons integrated with the State to help identify resources, equipment, and additional personnel needed to fully extinguish the fires and prevent flare-ups.

  • The U.S. Fire Administration is also working with local fire departments to identify what support is needed for firefighting personnel and their families who were also affected by this disaster, as they continue to heroically battle these blazes.

  • The Department of Defense, through U.S. INDOPACOM, is actively supporting the Federal response by helping move supplies across the State and is providing assistance with fire suppression activities.

  • U.S. INDOPACOM is also taking actions to move their response command and control personnel forward to the island of Maui.