Puu Kapu homesteads in Waimea on the Big Island was affected by a couple of wildfires earlier in 2016. One of the fires, back in April, was captured through the lens of local photographer Brian Powers. A home was surrounded by smoke and flames, but firefighters were courageously able to stop the fire from overtaking the structure. The harrowing experience, however, is just one of the many reminders that Puu Kapu is susceptible to fires, especially during drier periods.
Hawaii Police Department’s Officer May Lee (South Kohala Community Police Officer) has been working with Puu Kapu and other local neighborhoods to create Neighborhood Watch groups. With fire on the mind due to recent events, Officer Lee invited HWMO to speak to Puu Kapu Neighborhood Watch members about wildfire preparedness. Community Outreach Coordinator Pablo Beimler, on September 29, met with residents at the DHHL meeting room in Waimea and gave a presentation detailing the Wildfire & Drought Look Out! campaign and the Ready, Set, Go! and Firewise Communities Recognition programs. Meeting participants were interested in the idea of Puu Kapu becoming a Firewise Community, which would potentially add another community to an already long list of new certified communities that HWMO is currently working with.
Banner photo credit: Brian Powers