Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization and Pacific Fire Exchange partnered up to present a poster about Hawaii's wildfire problem at this year's Nahelehele Dryland Forest Symposium. A couple hundred people from a variety of different organizations involved in various degrees of conservation work attended the event, many of whom stopped by to visit our poster. Clay Trauernicht (UH Co-op Extension and PFX), Pablo Beimler (HWMO and PFX), and Ilene Grossman (HWMO) spoke to visitors about the many projects HWMO and PFX are involved in and how those projects are helping mitigate Hawaii's wildfire problem. One of the highlight's of the booth was the presentation of the most recent fire history maps, printed out on a large poster board. At one point, a retired HFD firefighter stopped by and interacted with the poster by sharing stories and lessons learned about specific points on the map.
By teaming up for this year's Dryland Forest Symposium, PFX and HWMO are continuing to forge a stronger partnership in order to amplify our outreach efforts.
Here is a summary of our poster board:
"Wildfires in Hawaii are increasing in frequency, size, and severity on all islands, threatening communities, agricultural lands and natural resources. 932 wildfires burned 17,500 acres per year on average statewide over the past decade (2002-2011) and a greater percentage of Hawaii’s land areas is under higher risk of wildfire than the 16 western-most US states. Furthermore, wildfire impacts and suppression costs are increasing while resources for wildfire management and research remain unchanged and insufficient. HWMO has been working with County, State, and Federal firefighting agencies and communities to better understand wildfire trends and issues, complete wildfire planning, provide outreach and education, and mitigate wildfire impacts and increase suppression capacity. PFX, which HWMO helped to form as part of a multi-agency effort, is working to identify wildfire management needs and knowledge gaps, synthesize existing information and produce new scientific information on Hawaii wildfire management, and provide best management practices for wildfire mitigation, suppression, and post-fire response."
Banner photo: This year's poster for the Nahelehele Dryland Forest Symposium. Our most current fire history map was a hit!