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Wildcat Chronicle

The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

Wildcat Chronicle

The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

Wildcat Chronicle

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Global warming persists as wildfires blaze through Hawaii

Wildfires burned on many of the Hawaiian islands leaving behind devastation.
Hawaii+
Hawaii

Early in the morning on August 8 residents living in Maui, an island of Hawaii, awoke to smoke coming from a wildfire that would ultimately devastate the island. 

The wildfires overtook parts of Maui, including Lahaina. Lahaina is located on the western side of the island Maui with a population of 13,103.  As of Aug. 28,  the fire in Lahaina has blazed over 2,000 acres of land, and there is still no exact number for the death toll. More than 106 people have been confirmed dead by officials in Lahaina.   

Although the situation in Hawaii seems miles away, the problem hits much closer to home. 

“We need to step back and see that the reality of climate change is here and not a myth that people can choose to ignore. Denying it will only cause more costly damage to property, and result in the unnecessary loss of more lives,” Maggie Haas, a humanities teacher at West Chicago Community High School, said. 

The fires have been a long-time coming because Hawaii’s annual rainfall has increasingly dropped since the 1990s. With global warming  and a downward  trend in precipitation in the state, Hawaii – once an island with a great extent of vegetation – is now a state experiencing wildfires that are typical in desert, dry areas of the globe.

“Since global warming is increasing so much, we are starting to see fires happen in random places like Hawaii where it is not expected,” senior and WeGo Global member Janelle Perez.

Wildfires that burned in Hawaii during the beginning of August 2023.

Lahaina, once a peaceful beach town on the island of Maui, now has over 1,900 structures that appear visibly damaged or destroyed by wildfires. The damages caused by these blazes  will take years to repair. Rebuilding this historic town will come with many economic challenges, too. 

Maui was just beginning to recover from the lack of tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic; however, the wildfires are predicted to will take most of that income away as locals look into rebuilding their home. 

“We need to start electing people who actually believe this is a problem and don’t push this issue to the curb,” Perez said.

 

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About the Contributor
Sasha Baumgartner
Sasha Baumgartner, Editor-in-Chief
Sasha is a senior, and this is her third year being a part of the Wildcat Chronicle. She found a swift passion for journalism during her sophomore year, learning how to write for fun and in many different ways. She has continued with the paper since 2021. Outside of journalism, Sasha is a member of the WEGO Dance team, a ROAR mentor and a member of National Honors Society and WEGO Global at the high school. Sasha’s main hobbies outside of school include working at a retirement community serving guests in the dining room, spending time with friends and family, and finishing up work for the Wildcat Chronicle. In the future, Sasha plans to attend college for psychology to be able to help people on a daily basis. 
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