This was the scene from outside my front door the other day. We live near a sugar cane field in Maui and while beautiful as seen as agriculture growing, when they harvest it, the area is covered with Hawaiian snow. This refers to the black bits of ash that float down from the sky and cover blanket the countryside.
From what I have been able to learn about the fires is that since sugar became a crop in Hawaii, burning it was how farmers harvested the sugar. IT seems the flash or burning point for the sugar is really high so the flames dont hurt the sugar just remove all the green vegetation, spiders, rodents, and debris that exists in the fields. The worst part is the irrigation PVC pipes are also burned. Seems its cheaper to lay new pipe for each crop than it i to remove the irrigation pvc pipes before burning. As a result the sugar company is burning a lot of plastic and the fumes are circulating in the air we breathe. No wonder so many of the local people have asthma.