When you think wildfire, one of the first areas that comes to mind is Waikoloa. Known as one of the most fire-prone areas in the entire state, the Waikoloa community has had its fair share of brush-ups with massive wildfires (including the largest in State history in 2005 at 25,000 acres). To round out a series of Northwest Community Wildfire Protection Plan update meetings, the HWMO team held a community meeting on Wednesday, January 28th at the Waikoloa Community Room. About a dozen community members flocked to the meeting to share their wildfire concerns and recommended actions. The fired-up group of community members had plenty of great input - here are some examples:
1) Need more dedicated egresses
2) Personal property owners dumping green waste in yard and in firebreak
3) Vegetation management in gulches
4) Unmaintained vegetation on private property and developer lands
5) Evacuation awareness
6) Access to water
7) How to prepare smooth response
1) Paved roads
2) Provide green waste disposal days
3) More cattle/ranching contracts (needs fencing)
4) Need enforcement; Find out contact information of owners/managers
5) Evacuation signs (identify where signs should go)
6) More diptanks
7) Modeling/drills of emergency scenarios with all agencies and CERT groups
To wrap it all up, participants voted on which concerns/solutions were their top priorities and placed stickers on their places of interest on a giant map of Northwest Hawaii Island that we printed and hauled over.
Once we compile all of the input and finish writing the plan, representatives from Civil Defense, Hawaii Fire Department, and Division of Forestry and Wildlife will sign the plan. Then the Northwest Hawaii CWPP will be officially updated. In the meantime, stay tuned for updates on the update!
Banner photo: Community members share their wildfire concerns with all meeting participants.