The other morning I woke up to the smell of bacon. As I lay there analyzing the smell, I remembered we were out of bacon. Hmm. Then I realized it was sugar cane burning. Ah... that made more sense.
Here in South Kihei we don't get much in the way of cane smoke, but when we do, you'll know. The Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company does a pre-harvest burn before harvesting their sugar cane. These burns are done early morning, and the air does clear, thankfully. You may see ash ('Maui snow') on burn days. You'll probably want to close your windows .
Most fields are harvested every other year and typically not during the winter months. For more information on how and why they do that, please check out their website's FAQ section.
Today while driving to Kahului I drove by the burn site (along the highway). The farmer in me is always very intrigued to see HC&S working the fields.
one of many sugar cane fields you will see in Central Maui
post-burn (pre-harvest) sugar cane field - you can see a few Keawe tree 'weeds' that were growing in the field