Outreach Campaigns

Wildfire and Drought Lookout! 2019

HWMO’s Executive Director speaks in Honolulu at the 4th annual Wildfire and Drought LOOKOUT! campaign kickoff

HWMO’s Executive Director speaks in Honolulu at the 4th annual Wildfire and Drought LOOKOUT! campaign kickoff

Monday marked the launch of the 4th annual Wildfire and Drought LOOKOUT! campaign. Wildfire and Drought LOOKOUT! is a continuing campaign to keep people across the state informed of current fire and drought conditions, provide tips on protecting life and property from wildfires, and to provide information and education on how to deal with prolonged drought. More than thirty federal, state and county government agencies and supporting organizations are a part of the effort.

According to the The National Drought Mitigation Center, much of the State is currently undergoing drought conditions as Hawaii starts to enter drought season.

Source:  National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC)   For the United States Drought Monitor, click  here .

Source: National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC)
For the United States Drought Monitor, click here.

HWMO’s Executive Director, Elizabeth Pickett pointing out tips on how to reduce your chances of starting a fire.   See the KITV4 video here .

HWMO’s Executive Director, Elizabeth Pickett pointing out tips on how to reduce your chances of starting a fire.

See the KITV4 video here.

Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization would like to remind everyone to be very careful in the coming months during Hawaii’s peak drought season. As Elizabeth Pickett (HWMO) reminds everyone in the Wildfire and Drought LOOKOUT! news release, please put barbecues and campfires out cold before walking away, do not pull over on dry grass, and hold off on using equipment that may cause sparks.

While some of the Hawaiian islands have recently undergone plenty of rainfall, be aware that in the coming months this could mean greater vegetation loads, and that means more fuel for fire.

Be aware, and remember that it only takes ONE spark to start a wildfire.

Hawaii State Capitol Legislative Outreach

Senator Keith-Agaran with HWMO staff during the office visits on February 20.

Senator Keith-Agaran with HWMO staff during the office visits on February 20.

Legislators are an important player in advancing wildfire protection funding and support. HWMO spent a full day at the Hawaii State Capitol on February 20 knocking on doors and visiting with various legislators and their aides to stress the importance of funding proactive wildfire projects with a busy fire year ahead. The timeliness of these visits was critical since HWMO has submitted a State Grant-In-Aid application to fund wildfire prevention and preparedness activities, including the Wildfire LOOKOUT! campaign.

Mahalo Representative David Tarnas, Senator Gilbert S.C. Keith-Agaran, Senator Dru Kanuha, and Representative Stacelynn K.M. Eli for meeting with us in person.

Youth Prevent Wildfire Bookmark Contest 2018

Participants of the Hawaii Wildfire Summit voted on their favorite bookmarks based on three categories.

Participants of the Hawaii Wildfire Summit voted on their favorite bookmarks based on three categories.

As part of a way to celebrate the upcoming Hawaii Wildfire Summit and Wildfire Preparedness Day, HWMO met with middle school students from several schools and youth programs and had them participate in a youth "Prevent Wildfire" bookmark contest. Students represented Kamaile Academy, Kohala Middle and High School, Waikoloa Middle School, and the Malama Kai Foundation Ocean Warriors program. The artwork they produced conveyed several messages that they could choose from:

"Prevent wildfires to protect our ocean"
"Prevent wildfires to protect our forests"
"Prevent wildfires to protect our communities"

Students from Kamaile Academy in Waianae created their bookmarks during an HWMO school visit earlier in 2018.

Students from Kamaile Academy in Waianae created their bookmarks during an HWMO school visit earlier in 2018.

Ocean Warriors hard at work designing their creative prevent wildfire bookmarks.

Ocean Warriors hard at work designing their creative prevent wildfire bookmarks.

23 of the bookmark entries were selected by the HWMO staff to be voted on at the Hawaii Wildfire Summit on May 2 and 3. 

We are excited to announce the winners of the contest as determined by the many participants who took the time and thought to cast their ballots at the summit. 

 

Bookmark Contest Winners.jpg

Congratulations to our winners and mahalo to all of the youth participants in this year's art contest. Special thanks to Jameil Saez, STEM teacher at Kamaile Academy, and Elizabeth Pickett of the Malama Kai Foundation Ocean Warriors program.

Wildfire Lookout! Statewide School Distribution

In what may be one of HWMO’s most ambitious efforts, we set out to distribute as many Wildfire Lookout! flyers to as many schools as we could on the leeward sides of each of the major islands in Hawaiʻi. With boxes upon boxes of Wildfire Lookout! flyers stuffed into suitcases, HWMO’s Elizabeth Pickett and Pablo Beimler visited over 50 schools on Kauaʻi, Maui, Oʻahu, and Hawaiʻi Island from May 22-24 and distributed a total of nearly 25,000 flyers. Those flyers were included in students’ final take-home packets before the summer (and peak fire season) begun.

The outreach push was made possible thanks to Grant-In-Aid from the State and was another highlight of Wildfire Preparedness Month this year. Thank you to all of the schools’ staff for helping distribute flyers to students (some schools posted the flyers in the office, library, cafeteria, or other common spaces). 

Banner photo: Waimea Canyon school with recent wildfire-scarred area in background.

Wildfire Lookout! Statewide School Distribution May 2017

HWMO's Beach Party for Wildfire Awareness

Hawaii Island Seed Bank, Mauna Kea Watershed Alliance, and Big Island Invasive Species Committee joined HWMO in setting up information booths at the event. Credit: DLNR

Hawaii Island Seed Bank, Mauna Kea Watershed Alliance, and Big Island Invasive Species Committee joined HWMO in setting up information booths at the event. Credit: DLNR

For this year’s National Community Wildfire Preparedness Day, on May 6, HWMO thew a Beach Party to raise awareness on wildfires and their impacts on our lands, water, and communities. The Beach Party for Wildfire Awareness was held at the Old Kona Airport at the first beach pavilion. We had a number of fun classes, presentations, and activities for keiki. 

Classes included two yoga classes, a morning session with Chelsea Morriss of Soul Happy Wellness, and an afternoon one with Rachel Forsberg. HWMO’s very own Melissa Kunz taught a swing dance class that kept the hype up in the morning. There was also a kids capoeira class held by Mario Hill from Capoeira Agua de Beber - UCA Hawaii. Most of the kids that participated were completely new to the Brazilian martial art / dance. Following the class, a group of capoeiristas from various parts of the island joined in for a capoeira and samba drum performance.

Melissa Kunz teaching a swing dance class.

Melissa Kunz teaching a swing dance class.

Capoeira workshop and performances thanks to Capoeira Agua de Beber - UCA Hawaii and friends.

Capoeira workshop and performances thanks to Capoeira Agua de Beber - UCA Hawaii and friends.

Yoga with Rachel Forsberg.

Yoga with Rachel Forsberg.

Morning yoga with Chelsea Morriss.

Morning yoga with Chelsea Morriss.

Several presentations were held in the pavilion that exposed visitors to different partners of HWMO that are doing amazing work to restore our native forests and protect our watersheds. Hawaii Island Seed Bank, Big Island Invasive Species Committee, and Mauna Kea Watershed Alliance shared about their organizations to audiences of various age levels. Those same organizations also set-up information booths, which attracted many visitors, as well. 

Chief Eric Moller speaking about the importance of fire prevention during the Wildfire Lookout! launch event.

Chief Eric Moller speaking about the importance of fire prevention during the Wildfire Lookout! launch event.

A major highlight of the event was a press conference to launch the statewide wildfire campaign called Wildfire Lookout! Speakers included State Representative Cindy Evans and Chief Eric Moller of U.S. Army-Garrison, Fire & Emergency Services who both stressed the importance of fire prevention to protect our islands. Executive Director of HWMO, Elizabeth Pickett, also spoke to the visitors of the event on the importance of preparing far in advance of peak fire season. DLNR Senior Communications Director, Dan Dennison, flew from Oahu to film the press conference, as well as other activities at the start of the day. You can watch the video here: https://vimeo.com/216343233

HWMO’s crafty project assistant, Tom Loomis, set-up a few fun games for keiki including a mini golf course, home defensible space ring toss, and pachinko board to win HWMO prizes. Hawaii Fire Department brought a fire truck for kids to explore and Big Island Goat Dozers brought a goat for kids to pet. 

Wildland firefighter dress up and HFD fire engine exploring.

Wildland firefighter dress up and HFD fire engine exploring.

Various activities for keiki including mini golf.

Various activities for keiki including mini golf.

Flyer for Party for Wildfire Awareness

Flyer for Party for Wildfire Awareness

Visitors had a chance to grind on some ono food from Just the Two of Us Chicken and Waffles and Cool Runnings Food Truck. The Selassie Ites wrapped up the event with a jammin' reggae performance.

A series of door prizes were also awarded throughout the day thanks to our list of generous sponsors: Foster’s Kitchen, Daylight Mind Coffee Company, Kona Haven Coffee, Capoeira Agua de Beber, Soul Happy Wellness, The Original Donkey Balls Store, and Hawaii Water Service Company

A big mahalo to these sponsors as well as everyone else mentioned above who made the event possible, including our volunteers, staff, and board members!

Beach Party for Wildfire Awareness 5/6/17

Wildfire & Drought Look Out! Campaign Launch

With drought predicted to persist through the summer, an increase in wildfires is more than likely to follow. That’s way HWMO has teamed with a large list of government and non-government organizations across the state to launch the Wildfire & Drought Look Out! campaign, the first coordinated statewide wildfire outreach campaign in Hawaii’s history.

Pablo Beimler and Elizabeth Pickett flew to Oahu to join a press conference on May 13th to signify the official release of the campaign. Derek Wroe, NOAA National Weather Service, Rob Hauff, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Captain David Jenkins, Honolulu Fire Department, and no other than Elizabeth Pickett spoke to a group of media from KHON, KITV4, HPR, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, and others. In the backdrop was the recently charred area right above homes in Nanakuli. 

Following the press conference, the media drove up to some of the homes along the fire’s edge with Honolulu Fire Department, HWMO, and other representatives. Captain Jenkins led the media around a couple of the homes to showcase the importance of creating defensible space far in advance of a wildfire.

Elizabeth Pickett (HWMO) speaks to media with Oahu firefighters standing behind her. In the background: the charred landscape of Nanakuli from the recent fire.

News reporters and Honolulu Fire Department talk with residents who experienced the fire first-hand and created defensible space far in advance of the fire.

For years, HWMO has made it a goal to have a statewide wildfire outreach campaign become a reality. We are excited to say that this goal become reality and will continue to grow moving forward. HWMO is being embraced as the hub of wildfire info for the state and all of our agency colleagues and fire suppression folks. “We started at Pu'u Wa'awa'a and Waikoloa and worked our way to assisting additional regions and islands with the vision of being useful and utilized in big ways at the state level, and this signifies exciting progress toward that,” says Elizabeth Pickett. 

Wildfire & Drought Look Out! Campaign Launch 5/13/16

The campaign is hosted on our website here: 

 

Special thanks to Dan Dennison for stepping up as an incredible coordinator of these efforts (and producing the above video) and of course to all of our partners involved in this momentous effort!

Tune in to our News Center for links on the press conference on the 13th and any new updates regarding Wildfire & Drought Look Out!