HONOLULU (KHON2) — The National Weather Service has lifted its statewide red flag warning on Thursday evening but during the time of the advisory, it had a much more pressing meaning for West Maui residents.
“I just got freaked out. I was like oh my gosh, not again please, not again,” said Kana Makino.
The devastating Lahaina fires added to the anxiety for some Maui residents. The high winds made the dry leeward side of the island more vulnerable to brush fires.
Thursday’s wind gusts have been nowhere near the roaring winds people experienced on Tuesday, Aug. 8. But people were still on edge.
“Got to get prepared now, yeah. I mean last one was like ok got a couple of clothes sit it out — by the time you know my daughter left the apartment with only the clothes on her back,” said West Maui resident Henry Turalva.
Maui’s emergency operations center was activated and extra national guardsmen are on the island.
The Maui County Fire Department also contracted extra resources.
“We’re also for this warning we’re upstaging both the west side as well as the central valley area. We do have one helicopter contracted with us that’s available from the sun up to sun down if the weather permits and that company also has additional helicopters if we need additional helicopters.”Maui Fire chief Brad Ventura
Maui emergency officials have asked the public to avoid outdoor burning activities — parking on dry grass and power tools that may cause sparks.
Kaanapali residents were alerted of a brush fire in the area by sirens and emergency texts on Saturday. However, sirens were not used during the fires on Aug. 8.
Residents are now counting on those sirens moving forward.
“Now we are in tune with it so the sirens go off the first thing we did looked to the ocean to see if the water was going out, we didn’t see that we said ok, maybe they’re using it to alert us of a fiew. So that’s good,” said West Maui resident Bobby Warren.
Several residents said having an emergency kit and plan are essential.
“My mom knows to take my car and our dog to our meeting spot because we have a little spot just in case there’s a fire,” said Jaymee Silva, another West Maui resident. “I told her to meet us by the ocean side so that she can be safe because she’s always home and I am not.”
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Many residents told KHON2 News that they are carrying emergency supplies in their cars just to get in and drive away.