What It Was Like Being a Reporter Covering the Hawaii Fires

From a Times Insider column by Sarah Bahr headlined “In Hawaii, Paradise Plagued by Disaster”:

The beaches near the Kahului Airport on the Hawaiian island of Maui remain idyllic; their golden sandy shorelines slip beneath the turquoise surf as it rolls in, and palm trees still sway in the breeze.

But drive a half-hour west and the landscape looks much different. The historic seaside town of Lahaina, once home to 13,000 people, was mostly reduced to smoke and ash when the country’s deadliest wildfire in more than a century tore through the area last week. Now, residents must dig through piles of debris and bird carcasses to try to recover the belongings they left behind when they fled.