Mountain Dew drink doesn’t prove Maui fires were ‘planned’

18 August 2023
What was claimed

The ‘Maui Burst’ flavour of fizzy drink Mountain Dew shows a connection between recent wildfires on the island and directed energy weapons (DEW). It suggests the fires were somehow ‘planned’.

Our verdict

There’s no evidence the fires were started using directed energy weapons, or that Mountain Dew is connected to either the fires or weapons.

Multiple posts on social media have claimed a flavour of the fizzy drink Mountain Dew is somehow connected to recent fires on the Hawaiian island of Maui. 

The claims, which appear on both Facebook and Twitter, highlight the name of a pineapple version of the drink, called ‘Maui Burst’. They attempt to create a link between the brand name ‘Mountain Dew’ and directed energy weapons—referred to as DEW—  which they suggest is evidence the fires were planned and the weapons were used to start them.

One post says: “‘Mtn DEW Maui Burst’. DEW= Directed Energy Weapon. ...Coincidence, mocking or predictive programming? It was planned!!!........Always hidden in plain sight.........[sic]”

Another says: “‘MAUI BURST’ by mountain ‘D.E.W.’ !! They always tell us what they are going to do before they do it. Its apart of their demonic ritual.[sic]”

Some posts suggest other Mountain Dew flavours such as Pitch Black or Flaming Hot also predict the fires. 

Directed energy weapons are systems that emit laser or other electromagnetic energy in order to cause disruptive, damaging or destructive effects on equipment or facilities. They could be used for example to deter people from an area or damaging drones, and are being researched by a number of countries including the UK and US.  

There’s no evidence “directed energy weapons”–or any other weapons– were responsible for the fires. Full Fact has written about other posts falsely claiming to show directed energy weapons starting the fires. 

There’s also no evidence that Mountain Dew is in any way connected to the weapons or the wildfires on Maui. The Maui Burst flavour of Mountain Dew was first released in 2019. Full Fact has contacted PepsiCo, who own the Mountain Dew label, for comment and will update the article if we receive a response. 

While a single cause of the fires has not been determined, the US National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for Maui with conditions such as high winds, low humidity, dry vegetation and a lack of rainfall causing an increased risk of dangerous fires. It has been suggested  that blazes may have been ignited from active power lines blown down during strong winds, but again this has not been confirmed

At the time of writing, at least 110 people have been killed by the fires and more than a thousand people are estimated to be missing. 

Full Fact has previously observed misinformation spread very quickly online during other  large news events. The riots in France, the February earthquake in Turkey and Syria and the Russian invasion of Ukraine have all been the subject of false claims on social media.

It’s important to think twice about whether a post is showing what it claims to be before sharing it online–you can read more about how to identify misleading images and videos in our guides here and here

Image courtesy of Thomas Hawk 

Full Fact fights bad information

Bad information ruins lives. It promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy. You deserve better.