Oahu: North Shore

Oahu Vegetative Fuels Management Collaborative Action Planning Workshop

Thank you to everyone who joined us!

Thank you to everyone who joined us!

Fire follows fuel. On February 19 at the Mililani District Park, we convened a large group of 33 people on Oahu representing a patchwork of different agencies, groups, and organizations across a variety of fields to come together to plan for collaborative, large-scale vegetation management to reduce wildfire risks throughout the island. This was part of a series of workshops on Oahu, Kauai, and Hawaii Island we held in February on this matter (we had a similar meeting on Maui in 2018).

During the workshop, participants:

  • Checked out the results of recent efforts to map current management of hazardous vegetative fuels (thanks to all of the information that partners contributed).

  • Identified and discussed shared regional fuels management priorities to mitigate the risks of wildfire across our island landscapes through a facilitated series of small and large group conversations.

Marking values at risk and areas for fuels treatments.

Marking values at risk and areas for fuels treatments.

More identifying of key areas.

More identifying of key areas.

Voting for priority project ideas.

Voting for priority project ideas.

The knowledge and priorities of the participants will contribute to planning next steps in the ongoing collaboration to manage vegetative fuels to reduce wildfire and protect our communities and natural resources.

We are all in this together and it takes all of us!

Stay tuned via our website, social media, and e-newsletter (sign up at the bottom of this page) for final project-related products before this summer.

Mahalo DOFAW, UH CTAHR Cooperative Extension / Pacific Fire Exchange for co-organizing with us.

Kaʻena Community Wildfire Preparedness Day

The volunteer group taking a tour of a recent burn at Kaʻena State Park. Credit - Dawn Bruns, US Fish and Wildlife Service

The volunteer group taking a tour of a recent burn at Kaʻena State Park. Credit - Dawn Bruns, US Fish and Wildlife Service

“Did you know that 9 out of 10 wildfire are caused by people and could have been prevented? In fact, wildland fires consume hundreds of homes across the nation annually, and Hawaii is at a similar risk.”

As part of National Community Wildfire Preparedness Day on May 6 (and a month of activities the rest of the month of May), DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife and Hawaii State Parks co-sponsored a volunteer event at Kaʻena State Park. Jaime Raduenzel of U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii’s Oʻahu Cultural Resources Program and Dietra Myers-Tremblay of DLNR DOFAW gave presentations to enlighten volunteers about fire protection resources, wildfire readiness, invasive vegetation that fuels wildfires, and drought-tolerant Firewise plants. The volunteers also got to take a tour of the site, “a sacred and fragile coastal dune ecosystem, home to many native coastal plants and animals that could not be found anywhere else in the world.” They then created defensible space around the perimeter of the new Kaʻena Point Baseyard and hiked out to a recent burn. 

WILDFIRE PREP MONTH CONTEST WINNER!  A job well done, clearing defensible space around the base-yard on Community Wildfire Prep Day. Credit - Dawn Bruns, US Fish and Wildlife Service

WILDFIRE PREP MONTH CONTEST WINNER!

A job well done, clearing defensible space around the base-yard on Community Wildfire Prep Day. Credit - Dawn Bruns, US Fish and Wildlife Service

Organizers of the event thank Professor Mindy McDermott and her Chaminade University BI 110 People and Nature students for their huge showing at the event. 

“I’m very excited about the future plans to restore areas of Ka'ena Point.  Fun!” - Dawn Bruns, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Flyer for the event

Flyer for the event

Kaʻena Point Community Wildfire Preparedness Day

Creating defensible space around the baseyard. Credit: Dawn Bruns / US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Creating defensible space around the baseyard. Credit: Dawn Bruns / US Fish and Wildlife Service.

“Did you know that 9 out of 10 wildfire are caused by people and could have been prevented? In fact, wildland fires consume hundreds of homes across the nation annually, and Hawaii is at a similar risk.”

Touring the site of the recent burn.

Touring the site of the recent burn.

As part of National Community Wildfire Preparedness Day on May 6 (and a month of activities the rest of the month of May), DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) and Division of State Parks (DSP) co-sponsored a volunteer event at Kaʻena State Park. Jaime Raduenzel of RCUH-PCSU, DLNR DOFAW and DSP, and Dietra Myers Tremblay of DLNR DOFAW gave presentations to enlighten volunteers about fire protection resources, wildfire readiness, invasive vegetation that fuels wildfires, and drought-tolerant Firewise plants. The volunteers also had the opportunity to take a tour of the site, “a sacred and fragile coastal dune ecosystem, home to many native coastal plants and animals that could not be found anywhere else in the world.” They then created defensible space around the perimeter of the new Kaʻena Point Baseyard and hiked out to a recent burn. 

Organizers of the event thank Professor Mindy McDermott and her Chaminade University BI 110 People and Nature students for their huge showing at the event. 

“I’m very excited about the future plans to restore areas of Ka'ena Point.  Fun!” - Dawn Bruns, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Flyer for the event courtesy of DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife and Hawaiʻi State Parks.

Flyer for the event courtesy of DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife and Hawaiʻi State Parks.

North Shore Neighborhood Board Meeting Presentation

The actions of a single community member can make a significant difference moving a neighborhood to action. Jim Frisbie, a resident of Waialua on the North Shore of Oahu, was inspired to action by a personal experience within his neighborhood that quickly turned into a call to action supported by a broad coalition of agencies and people. 

On March 22nd, Pablo Beimler flew to Oahu to meet with Jim to tour the wildfire hazards in his neighborhood. Weed abatement was the topic of priority concern for Jim, who was able to hold a half-hour block of that night's North Shore Neighborhood Board Meeting to discuss a motion he hoped to pass. To give background on the wildfire situation on the North Shore and ways people can prevent and prepare for wildfires, Jim invited Mr. Beimler, HFD Prevention Chief Terry Seelig, and University of Hawaii CTAHR Wildfire Extension Specialist Clay Trauernicht to speak to the board of fifteen. That night, fifty or so people listened in to what each representative had to say regarding wildfire and the importance of community action. Mr. Beimler highlighted HWMO's Firewise Communities effort and shared a few tips for creating defensible space around the home. 

Chief Seelig of Honolulu Fire Department (middle) and Clay Trauernicht of University of Hawaii CTAHR Cooperative Extension (bottom) address a large group of concerned residents about wildfires in the area.

After a public comment period, the board members deliberated and decided to support Jim's motion:

“The North Shore Neighborhood Board requests City and State examination of current wildfire regulations and community safety of homes and business adjacent to fallow agricultural lands that present fire safety hazards.  NSNB requests that City and State report back to the NSNB their recommendations and conclusions within a 4 to 6 month time frame.” 

As Jim explained: "Many of us wish to 'Keep the Country, Country' in the North Shore of Oahu.  To do this we must understand the complexities of land management and the difficulties of an agricultural community that is under great stress. While we seek fire safety on one hand, we also wish to encourage local small and corporate farming.  We do not wish to place undue burden on the lands such that landowners seek to sell their property for intensified residential and commercial development.

Land that is actively being farmed does not catch fire."