Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Hawaii's Wildfire Problem - Collaborative Solutions

Yes, Hawaii continues to have a wildfire problem.  About 0.5% of Hawaii's total land area burns each year, equal to or greater than the proportion burned in any other US state.  Over 98% of wildfires are human-caused - presenting an increasing challenge in the warm and drying climate.  

A wildfire there last month threatened lives, homes, sacred sites, property and coastal environments has caused the community to re-focus on the realities and responsibilities of living in North Hawaii.

On that day, the Hawaii Fire Department’s (HFD) South Kohala, Waimea and Waikoloa stations and Hawaii Police Department personnel were among the first to respond.  They were joined by staff from North Kohala Fire Station, Puukohala Heaiu, Spencer Park, Department of Forestry and Wildlife, Civil Defense, Department of Public Works and Isemoto Contracting Company bulldozer operators joined the fight.  

With fewer per capita emergency resources than higher populated areas like Honolulu, HFD has to make strategic use of available resources to cover large geographic areas on challenging terrain. Communication, coordination among units, planning, training, equipment and following well-established priorites are crucial. Sounds like a fantastic, coordinated effort to me!  

Read the full article here and learn more about the important role of the Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization, a non-profit organization is committed to facilitating collaborative efforts among Hawaii’s residents and landowners, natural resource managers and fire agencies to help combat wildfires’ destructive effects on life, homes and communities.  

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