Palms and Sky MAUI VORTEX


Maui Sugar Cane Smoke

Join Maui Clean Air on Facebook to help Maui transition into an organic, self-sustainable paradise.

Sugar cane fire smoke towers over Maui, photo by Mary Whispering Wind, 8/30/2012.

Massive smoke clouds created by burning sugar cane fields stand as monuments to the corporate domination of Maui's land, water, economy, and culture. HC&S will burn about 15,000 of acres of sugarcane fields this year.

HC&S is the last sugarcane plantation in Hawaii, owned by A&B; it is a remnant of an archaic culture that will not serve Maui's future. The future of Maui's agribusiness, and ecosystems, depend on Maui's ability to transform into a system of bio diverse organic farms.

The fact that Hawaii imports 90% of its food creates a dangerous situation. If an interruption in freight deliveries occurs, store shelves would be empty in days, perhaps hours. It is wise to develop a program of self-sustainability. Maui farmers could easily produce more than enough organic foods to fulfill Hawaii's needs, and generate other satellite business to process, package, and deliver the goods to local markets.

There is now 36,000 acres of sugarcane on Maui's central valley farmland that could grow food to feed all of Hawaii, and create organic Hawaiian exports.

The skyrocketing price of organic foods, and ever-increasing bans on GMO foods has created a high demand for organic products. The high cost of Hawaii land means we must raise higher price produce. It is well worth the investment to transition to organic farming.

HC&S sugar mill and surrounding sugar cane field, photo by Mary Whispering Wind, Dec. 25, 2013.

Big corporation's right to pollute for profit is more important than the rights of Maui's citizens to clean air, water, and land. The profits of the new corpocracy are more important than the health and quality of life of Maui's citizens, and more important than the sustainability of Maui's delicate ecosystems.

Many environmental groups protest this harvesting method because it creates toxic pollutants.

The burning of Maui's sugar cane fields, treated with atrazine; 2,4-D; pendimethalin; dicamba and hexazinone, cause massive billowing clouds of acrid smoke, choking everything in its path and blocking out the sun. The acrid smoke and ash debris create health problems for Maui's school children and citizens. Work and leisure activities, for residents and tourists, are disrupted. The cost of cleaning up the massive ash fall is staggering.

If the smoke causes any health problems, please file a report with the mauicleanair app, or file online at

Sugarcane fires along Haleakala Hwy., Maui, Hawai'i, June 12, 2014

Sugarcane fires are often set very early in the morning, usually about 4 am, to avoid disrupting morning traffic. Smoke can become a factor in driving when the winds blow smoke across roadways.



Sept. 30, Oct. 3, and Oct. 4, 2011, Maui Sugar Cane Burning, by

Citizens complain with phone calls to the Health Department, protests along the road, editorials, and videos of sugar cane fires that encroach on their land, threaten their safety and peace of mind, and cause extra work without compensation.

Apr 8, 2012. Long ash-laden plumes of sugar cane smoke creep into densely populated areas along Maui's south shore, covering everything, including children's playgrounds with black sooty ashes, which are commonly called "Maui snow."

March 25, 2011. Maui's sugar cane smoke clouds block out the natural beauty and tranquility of Maui's abundance of color and disrupts Maui's precious ecosystems and harmonic balance.


April 11, 2012, Stop the Burn.

Of the 88,000 acres of Hawaii's land that is owned by A&B; HC&S mono-crops sugarcane on 36,000 acres in Central Maui. After 140 years of abuse the land is polluted, but these farmlands could be rehabilitated, and Maui could become an island haven of self-sustainable and environmentally friendly industries. Small organic family farms with diverse crops could fill the thousands of acres that now only grow sugar. This industry could be supported by enacting new medical marijuana programs, based on the tobacco act, like the Family Farm Act.


July 23, 2011, Paia Sugar Cane Burning

July 22, 2011 cane fire, Baldwin Ave. Paia, Maui

April, 7, 2011, Maui Cane Fire, egrets flying in cane smoke.

Sept. 26, 2011, Maui Cane Fire Out of Control

Oct. 22, 2011, Burning Sugarcane Maui 2

Mar. 15, 2011, smoke rising north shore, Maui

March 29, 2011, Maui Cane Fire HD time Lapse.

Jun 11, 2009, 7:35 am, Burn, Upcountry, Maui.

March 15, 2011, Large Cane Fire, South Shore, Maui Hawaii.

May 26, 2012, Hookipa sugar cane fire

Oct. 27, 2011, Maui surgar cane burning giant fire lots of smoke

August, 2011, cane burning from a residential neighborhood in Kaua, Maui, Hawaii. Smoke and ash contaminate homes.

May 2, 2011, #Sugarcane #Burn #Maui

Aug. 31, 2012, Maui Sugar Cane Burning. This short documentary explores the good and bad sides of the issue of sugar cane burning on Maui, Hawaii.

May 19, 2012, *ucking up the planet: Sugar Cane burning in Maui

Please report all adverse health issues that you, your family, and friends may suffer as a result of breathing sugar cane smoke. A complaint with the Department of Health may easily be filed over the phone, by calling 984-8234.

Hawaiian Commercial Sugar will add your name to their pre-burn contact list by calling them at 877-6988. You may check the Maui sugar cane burning schedule recording by calling 808-877-6963.



References and links:

Backyard burning banned, April 15, 2012, The Maui News

Maui’s Cane Burning – How Dangerous Is It? March 23rd, 2012, Maui Now

HC&S Responds to ‘Cane Burning Dangerous?’ Article, March 26th, 2012, Maui Now

Monocropping, from wikipedia. Compare Agricultural biodiversity from Wikipedia

Cane Burning Schedule Hotline, Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company, a division of A&B, Inc.

Hawaiian Commerical & Sugar To Start Burning Cane On Maui Again On March 20, by Anthony Pignataro, March 16, 2012, The Maui News

Letter to Blake Shiigi, Hawai'i Department of Health, Maui District health Office, August 31, 2012, by Mary Overbay