Firewise Homebuilding & Landscaping

Building a Wildfire Resistant Home

“A new home built to wildfire-resistant codes can be constructed for roughly the same cost as a typical home.” -Headwaters Economics

From the source:

“This study finds negligible cost differences between a typical home and a home constructed using wildfire-resistant materials and design features.”

Wildfire LOOKOUT! Flyer

Click to enlarge the front page of the flyer.

Click to enlarge the front page of the flyer.

Wildfires are a frequent and significant hazard across Hawaii.

Help do your part by preventing wildfire and following these 14 easy action ideas to prepare your home, family, and community. 

Ready, Set, Go! Hawaii: Your Personal Wildland Fire Action Guide

Front cover of the booklet.

Front cover of the booklet.

Over a year ago, we received 10,000 copies (that's 40 extremely heavy boxes) of the first ever Hawaii version of the Ready, Set, Go! Wildland Fire Action Guide. We still have a storehouse of these amazingly handy guides. 

We encourage every household and landowner/manager in the state of Hawaii to get a hold of the guide.

In this Action Guide, we hope to provide tips and tools you need to prepare for a wildland fire threat (Ready), have situational awareness when a fire starts (Set), and to evacuate early (Go!).

Features include:

  • Hawaii's Growing Wildland Fire Problem

  • Actions You Can Take Today

  • Defensible Space Creation - Hawaiian Style

  • How to Harden Your Home

  • Ready, Set, Go Action Guide Checklist for Your House and Family

  • Emergency Preparedness Kit Checklist

  • Ready, Set, Go Action Guide Checklist for Large Landowners and Land Managers

  • Emergency Contacts and Info. Worksheet

  • Our Family's Home Evacuation Plan Worksheet

  • Residential Safety Checklist

  • And More!

Contact us if you would like copies to distribute to your friends, family members, neighbors, or anyone else you can think of. We are also able to hold Ready, Set, Go! workshops upon request in your community. Stay tuned for updates on upcoming workshops and events where we will be handing out the guides. Or, come by our office in Waimea (Kamuela) where we have boxes full of the guides!

The guide was produced by Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization (HWMO), made possible through a grant from the USDA Forest Service and with the help of HWMO's partners from the Pacific Fire Exchange, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources - Division of Forestry and Wildlife, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawaii Fire Department, Honolulu Fire Department, Kauai Fire Department, and Maui Fire Department, in a cooperative effort with the International Association of Fire Chiefs. HWMO is an equal opportunity employer. 

This Hawaii version of the RSG Action Plan was made possible by The Cooperative Fire Program of the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Pacific Southwest Region. In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326 W. Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Mahalo to IAFC for spearheading the collaboration and arranging for and funding the massive print-job!

Wildfire Virtual Field Trips

Screen capture from NFPA video.

Screen capture from NFPA video.

Check out this video series put together by the NFPA and experience what happens one year, five years, and ten years after a major wildfire. The lessons learned from these videos focus largely on how you can take measures around your home and yard to reduce wildfire risks. One of the videos focuses on the ecological importance of wildfires on the mainland. It's important to keep in mind that in Hawaii and the Western Pacific, wildfires are NOT a part of the natural process and actually harm our native forests, watersheds, and coastlines. 

Wildfire Research Fact Sheet: Decks

Firewise Fact Sheet Decks - snapshot.png

Firewise's new wildfire research fact sheet has some great information on how to reduce the ignitability of your deck or lanai. It's just one page but packed with useful information.

From the Source: 

"MANY HOMES LOCATED IN WILDFIRE-PRONE AREAS HAVE ATTACHED DECKS, WHICH CAN POTENTIALLY SPREAD FIRE TO THE HOUSE WHEN IGNITED DURING A WILDFIRE. A burning deck can ignite siding or break the glass in doors or windows, allowing fi re to gain entry into the house. Consequently, making decks less vulnerable to wildfire also makes your house less vulnerable. Reducing the deck’s vulnerability requires an approach that focuses on the materials and design features used to build the deck, and creating a noncombustible zone around and under the deck."

Wildfire & Drought Look Out! Video News Release

On May 13, 2016, a number of governmental and non-governmental partners released a statewide campaign called Wildfire & Drought Look Out! to inform residents and visitors of Hawaii to take action to prevent and prepare for wildfires.

Wildfire & Drought Look Out! - 1st Press Release

1st Press Release for the May 13th launch of the Wildfire & Drought Look Out! statewide campaign.

How to Become a Firewise Community (Flyer)

 As of July 2015, we began working with a number of communities to help them achieve Firewise Communities Recognition, a nationwide program that recognizes communities for their efforts towards reducing the loss of lives, properties, and resources to wildfire. “The Firewise Communities approach emphasizes community responsibility for planning in the design of a safe community as well as effective emergency response, and individual responsibility for safer home construction and design, landscaping and maintenance.”

    If your community is interested, we can help you through each step of the certification process. Contact us today! As a nonprofit organization, our mission is to support your fire protection efforts. Becoming Firewise is an excellent step toward safeguarding your community and we are happy to help.

Bushfire Garden Recovery Video Series

Bushfire Garden Recovery Video Series

Plenty of great tips on how to garden and landscape around your home to minimize wildfire risk. Although the area of focus is in Australia, many of the takeaways can apply directly to your home in Hawaii. It also makes an impact to hear about real stories from community members who experienced wildfire threats first-hand and learn from how they made their homes safer.