Fire History Mapping and Analysis
Understanding patterns and trends of fire behavior on the islands will help land managers, firefighters, communities, decision makers, and fire scientists in nearly infinite ways.
Comprehensive fire histories had existed in every state, except Hawaii, until HWMO took charge these past few years. With the help of US Forest Service funding and collaboration with the University of Hawaii, the small non-profit organization labored to collect fire event records from federal, state, and local fire agencies from across the board. In the spring of 2013, the HWMO staff spent countless hours putting together a massive spreadsheet with the records that they data checked and geo-located fire by fire.
There are now over 13,500 fire records (and counting as the days go by) logged in the database, most of which are from 2002 to 2012.
With this data, HWMO has created fire history maps for each major Hawaiian island, as seen on the front page. These maps are still in draft stages, as not all of the data were easily mapped or readily located geographically based on fire records. The staff continues to work through existing information and adding wildfire ignitions to the maps.
Our PFX partner and UH Manoa Extension Fire Specialist, Clay Trauernicht, is in the preliminary stages of analyzing the data. Stay tuned for updates on his research.
Note the high frequency of roadside ignitions along the wildland-urban interface boundaries.