Climate Change and Fire

2017 Wildfire in Hawaii - PFX Annual Summary

Check out this brand new resource to learn how the wildfire season went in Hawaii in 2017 with this Pacific Fire Exchange fact sheet. Download the full fact sheet by clicking the button below.

"Every wildfire incident is part of a larger pattern of wildfire occurrence and is an opportunity to gain experience and insight for wildfire management. Taking a look at both the big picture and individual fires can: Deepen and expand our understanding of wildfire drivers, behavior, and response; improve wildfire response, management, and science; reduce negative impacts on individuals, communities, natural resources, and response agency budgets."

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Wildfire in Hawaii Factsheet

Did you know that the average area burned per year in Hawaii has increased 400% over the past century? Check out this Pacific Fire Exchange fact sheet that presents Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization's State Wildfire History Map and Dr. Clay Trauernichts' key findings from his research on the scale and scope of wildfire in Hawaii.

"Over the past decade, an average of >1000 wildfires burned >17,000 acres each year in Hawai‘i, with the percentage of total land area burned comparable to and often exceeding figures for the fire-prone western US (Fig. 1). Humans have caused much of the increase in wildfire threat by increasing the abundance of ignitions (Fig. 2) and introducing nonnative, fire-prone grasses and shrubs. Nonnative grasslands and shrublands now cover nearly one quarter of Hawaii's total land area and, together with a warming, drying climate and year round fire season, greatly increase the incidence of larger fires (Fig. 3), especially in leeward areas. Wildfires were once limited in Hawai‘i to active volcanic eruptions and infrequent dry lightning strikes. However, the dramatic increase in wildfire prevalence poses serious threats to human safety, infrastructure, agricultural production, cultural resources, native ecosystems, watershed functioning, and nearshore coastal resources statewide."

Climate Change Impacts on Wildfires in Hawaii

As climate change continues to reshape the lands and waters of Hawaii, wildfire will be increasingly on the radar. Climate change contributes to conditions known to increase wildfire hazard. More wildfires in Hawaii mean less native forests and drinking water and more erosion/runoff, coastal brownouts, and communities at risk. Please share this infographic far and wide and remember, there is a lot you can do to protect your family, home, and community!

Climate Change Resource Center - Wildland Fire

"Browse descriptions of some of the current Forest Service research projects that study fire and climate change, recommended websites, and fire-related tools for resource managers."