It has been so very sad to see the devastating wildfires sweeping through neighborhoods on Maui this week. The winds continue to spread the flames and their firefighting resources have been seriously outpaced. Communications during the fire have been very limited as internet and phone systems are down, making it very hard to ensure everyone knows the evacuation plans. If you are interested in supporting those impacted by the fires, the Hawaii Community Foundation is leading the effort.

Walking in a steady breeze through Eastsound yesterday, I could not help but think how quickly our community could experience a similar situation. I know some neighborhoods on Orcas have engaged in the FireWise program. It is a good time to double down on those efforts. We may also want to think about alternate communication plans. I believe the County Emergency Services have recommended using the local fire halls as central communication hubs. It also appears that the single road used to exit the area became a barrier to escape. Same thing could easily happen here. Hard to think about the worst case scenarios, but best to make plans before the crisis hits.

On a happier note, the Library Fair is happening this Saturday on the Library grounds. This is a fantastic opportunity to load up on books- don’t forget to bring a sturdy bag! This is also the weekend of the Artist Studio Tour, also a great event, providing a tour of the island and the chance to meet the many creative artists that call Orcas home.

I hope to see you out and about!