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."
The current (2015-2016), strong El Niño is forecast to bring drier conditions to our region this summer and beyond. This PFX fact sheet illustrates how droughts under prior El Niños have resulted in extensive fires across the region. This indicates the current forecast is an opportunity to plan and increase preparedness for conditions of higher fire danger.
The article, written by HWMO's Elizabeth Pickett and University of Hawaii's Andrew Pierce, is titled Building a Spatial Database of Fire Occurrence in Hawaii. Ms. Pickett and Dr. Pierce describe the arduous process of collecting, compiling, mapping, and analyzing years of wildfire ignition records from various fire response agencies.
"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."
"The University of California Cooperative Extension used social media to solicit donations to support research on the Pacific fisher, a rare forest-dwelling weasel, conducted by UC scientists. The social media campaign included blog and Facebook postings, news releases, and tweets requesting donations of single socks."
An up-to-date newsletter published by the Joint Fire Science Program, highlighting the most pressing issues in national fire science, suppression, and management.
"Extension professionals can greatly benefit the communities they serve by employing some simple, but strategized marketing techniques. Six simple tools are shared to develop a social marketing toolbox."
“The recent nationwide emphasis on community fire planning provides an important new opportunity for Extension. This article presents a case study of Extension involvement in neighborhood fire planning. We describe how intensive neighborhood outreach, design, and delivery of educational programs and facilitation of a steering committee have improved neighborhood cohesion and interagency coordination in addressing wildfire issues in a 250,000-acre watershed.”
FEIS contains literature reviews on more than 1,100 species and their relationships with fire. Reviews cover plants and animals throughout the United States. However, flora and fauna of Hawaii are not covered (except in the limited cases where these species occur on both the mainland and the islands). This site provides a wealth of information for NEPA, resource planning, and fire management.