Oahu (East)

Kamilonui-Mariner's Cove Memorial Day Weekend Wildfire Mitigation Project

Representative Gene Ward joins the cause this past weekend.

Representative Gene Ward joins the cause this past weekend.

As a very fitting tribute to Memorial Day, a collaboration of people including military veterans from Team Rubicon, an international veteran service organization that uses disaster response to help reintegrate veterans back into civilian life, came out in full force to create a large firebreak around Kamilonui-Mariner’s Cove. The Firewise Community (the first ever on Oahu as of this year!) of agricultural and residential lots in Hawaii Kai, has been working with HWMO for a couple of years now in an effort to create a more wildfire resilient community.

Carol Jaxon (left) and Elizabeth Reilly (middle) have been instrumental in moving Firewise Communities project forward in Kamilonui-Mariner’s Cove. We cannot thank them enough!

Carol Jaxon (left) and Elizabeth Reilly (middle) have been instrumental in moving Firewise Communities project forward in Kamilonui-Mariner’s Cove. We cannot thank them enough!

Big mahalo to Team Rubicon for the enormous time and effort they donated to the cause!

Big mahalo to Team Rubicon for the enormous time and effort they donated to the cause!

This weekend, as part of Wildfire Preparedness Day, we are seeing what it means to be fire-adapted: everyone playing a role to reduce wildfire risk. The Firewise committee consisting of local residents and farmers, Aloha Aina O Kamilo Nui, and Livable Hawaii Kai Hui organized the work days; Team Rubicon volunteers are knocking back fire fuels; neighboring landowners provided access to the land and green waste hauling services; residents are feeding volunteers; and HWMO provided a hazard assessment, continual guidance through the Firewise Communities process, and a $2,000 grant from the U.S. Forest Service. We are so grateful to everyone who is helping out to make Kamilonui - Mariner’s Cove a model for community-driven wildfire protection on Oahu and for the rest of the Hawaiian Islands!

All photos courtesy of Aloha Aina O Kamilonui

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.

Kamilonui-Mariner's Cove Firewise Work Days 2018

Senator Stanley Chang and Janae teaming up against a particularly heavy tree trunk.

Senator Stanley Chang and Janae teaming up against a particularly heavy tree trunk.

Kamilonui Valley-Mariner's Cove is well on their way towards becoming the first Firewise Community in eastern Oahu this year. Check out their latest community work efforts which HWMO has been supporting, including through a $2,000 U.S. Forest Service grant we have provided for an extra boost of vegetation clearance to reduce wildfire risk. Livable Hawaii Kai Hui, Senator Stanley Chang's Office, and Aloha Aina O Kamilo Nui  have played critical roles in this effort along with the residents who have taken charge to protect their community from wildfire. We love to see this kind of community-based initiative and action!

"On June 23rd, we had a volunteer day at our Target Area 1, the end of Kamilonui Place (nursery road).  Some work was done earlier in the week by the women’s correctional facility volunteers.  Thanks to Ama for bringing them out to help!  On the 23rd we had Mariner’s Cove volunteers help clear what the women had cut down.  Sergio from Tropical Tree Services, LLC, and our neighbor in Kamilonui Valley, has been chipping as we drag haole koa and other trees out of the firebreak zone. What is left to do in that area includes weed whacking, treating trees so they do not grow back, and bagging any random opala exposed."

The community continued the work on July 7th by dragging all cut wood out for chipping.

The June 23 group hard at work.

The June 23 group hard at work.

Celebrating a job well done.

Celebrating a job well done.

"Target Area 2 is located on the closed section of Hawaii Kai Drive behind the Mariner’s Cove homes on Niumalu Loop.  This was also an area where there were several fires last year.  We now have a plan in place to get this cleared! The landowner has agreed to provide us with dumpsters.  Once the timing of the dumpsters and chipping has been arranged we will send out a volunteer work day reminder to Mariner’s Cove residents.  We are hoping all of these efforts will result in less fires in the valley this summer.

BIG mahalo to Sergio (Tropical Tree Service) for helping chip what is cut and curbside

Mahalo to Lenoard for helping secure dumpsters

Mahalo to Ama and the WCCC Aina Angels"

Photo Credits: Elizabeth Reilly / Livable Hawaii Kai Hui

Before of Target Area 1

Before of Target Area 1

Before of Target Area 2

Before of Target Area 2

Another community work crew hard at work!

Another community work crew hard at work!

TELE Workshop - Wildfire Breakout Group

Wildfire Breakout Group

Wildfire Breakout Group

On February 22 and 23 in Kaneohe, HWMO and a group of HWMO’s partners from University of Hawaii CTAHR, DNLR Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Guam Forestry, and Honolulu Fire Department gathered for a breakout discussion on how to improve engagement around the wildfire issue in Hawaii Kai and Waianae. The discussion was part of a TELE Workshop, a project of the Sustaining Family Forests Initiative, a collaboration between Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Center for Nonprofit Strategies. During the workshop, participants learned the ins and outs of designing and implementing more effective programming and outreach with landowners. We found the training to be incredibly useful and it will help us better our own wildfire engagement strategies.

Banner photo credit: DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife

TELE Workshop Wildfire Breakout Group 2/22/2018

Kamilonui-Mariner's Cove Firewise Hazard Assessment Review Workshop

Dr. Clay Trauernicht of UH CTAHR Cooperative Extension and Pacific Fire Exchange encourages the community members in the room to continue to take proactive action in the neighborhood to prevent wildfire loss.

Dr. Clay Trauernicht of UH CTAHR Cooperative Extension and Pacific Fire Exchange encourages the community members in the room to continue to take proactive action in the neighborhood to prevent wildfire loss.

On February 13, over a dozen community members from Kamilonui Valley and Mariner's Cove in Hawaii Kai joined our workshop with Honolulu Fire Department, DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife, and University of Hawaii CTAHR Cooperative Extension. The community members heard from the various agency representatives about the importance of taking action early to prevent fire loss in the community. HWMO has teamed up with the community to support them in becoming the first Firewise Community in the eastern half of Oahu.

As a requirement of becoming a nationally-recognized Firewise Community, our team met with several of the community members a few months ago to conduct a community-wide wildfire hazard assessment. After synthesizing the information in a comprehensive report, we designed a workshop to inform the community members about their wildfire risk. At the end of the workshop, the community members listed the priority actions they wanted to see taken in the community to protect it from wildfire. Those actions will be used to formulate an action plan, another requirement for becoming a Firewise Community. From then on, it is action time! The community plans to take preventive action this summer as part of Wildfire Prep Day with a volunteer event to reduce hazardous vegetation along the edges of the community.

 

Kamilonui-Mariner's Cove Firewise Hazard Assessment Review Workshop 2/13/18

Kamilonui-Mariner’s Cove Firewise Hazard Assessment

The Firewise Communities movement is spreading to Oahu! Over the last two years, HWMO has assisted 10 communities in becoming nationally-recognized Firewise Communities. There are now 11 official communities in Hawaii, part of a network of over 1,400 across the U.S. Those 11 communities are located on Hawaii Island and Maui. That is soon to change as proactive residents and community organizations from Kamilonui-Mariner’s Cove are taking the necessary steps towards making their beloved community in Hawaii Kai a Firewise Community. 

Private landowners, contractors, farmers, legislators, community groups, government agencies...we are truly seeing a Firewise Community in the making where all stakeholders play an important role. 

Private landowners, contractors, farmers, legislators, community groups, government agencies...we are truly seeing a Firewise Community in the making where all stakeholders play an important role. 

This year has been a particularly stressful one for Kamilonui Valley Farm Lots and Mariner’s Cove residents. Over a dozen suspicious fire starts, a few that grew into larger fires, had burned close to the community in the first half of 2017. Since then, the community has been charged to take action. HWMO linked with Livable Hawaii Kai Hui and Senator Stanley Chang’s Office to organize a community-wide Firewise hazard assessment on November 27. Together with representatives from DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board, Royal Contracting, and Kamilonui Farm Lots, the working group walked and drove around the community to examine common wildfire hazards and areas for potential wildfire risk reduction projects. 

The assessment team first convened at the Mariner’s Cove Bay Club to map out an itinerary for the day, determine priority community areas to examine on the field assessment, and establish boundaries for the Firewise Community designation. Following the meeting, the team walked along an access road off of Hawaii Kai Drive, visited Pahua Heiau, and caravanned to the end of Kamilonui Place to examine the wildland area in the back of the valley. Along with these priority areas, the team also visited a home to conduct a “Home Ignition Zone” assessment to gain a better idea of the wildfire hazards at the individual lot level and pull locally-relevant examples of best practices for creating defensible space and fire-proofing structures.

The assessment team examining fuels, or flammable vegetation, along the wildland border of Kamilonui-Mariner's Cove.

The assessment team examining fuels, or flammable vegetation, along the wildland border of Kamilonui-Mariner's Cove.

Hearing from a resident about her wildfire hazard concerns.

Hearing from a resident about her wildfire hazard concerns.

Once HWMO completes a written report of the hazard assessment, they will present their findings to the working group and the larger community in February 2018. The working group will take recommendations provided in the report into consideration when they develop an action plan for wildfire risk reduction activities in their community.

We thank all of the partners who joined us for the hazard assessment and are excited for what’s to come in 2018 for Kamilonui-Mariner’s Cove!

Kamilonui-Mariner's Cove Firewise Community Hazard Assessment 11/27/17

Hawaiʻi Kai Community Safety Town Hall Meeting

Packed house for the Hawaiʻi Kai Community Safety Town Hall Meeting on June 6, 2017.

Packed house for the Hawaiʻi Kai Community Safety Town Hall Meeting on June 6, 2017.

Cameron Sato (left), Office of Senator Stanley Chang, and Pablo Beimler (right), HWMO in front of Kamilonui Valley burn scar.

Cameron Sato (left), Office of Senator Stanley Chang, and Pablo Beimler (right), HWMO in front of Kamilonui Valley burn scar.

As part of a double-header of community safety events in Hawaiʻi Kai, Representative Gene Ward, Senator Stanley Chang, Councilmember Trevor Ozawa, and Senator Laura Thielen again teamed up, this time to hold a public safety town hall meeting on June 6. Just the night before, HWMO gave a workshop on wildfire readiness to fifty or so community members. At the June 6 meeting, seventy-five people were in attendance to hear updates from Honolulu Fire Department, Honolulu Police Department, and HWMO.

Several community members also voiced their concerns about what they felt were safety issues in their community. After the meeting, we spoke with a number of community members regarding specific fire safety concerns in the area. HWMO will be following up in Hawaiʻi Kai with additional support for Firewise Communities certification and hopefully soon, a Community Wildfire Protection Plan. Big mahalo to Senators Chang and Thielen, Representative Ward, and Councilmember Ozawa for having us be speakers at the two meetings and to HFD, HPD, and DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife for their added support.

Hawaiʻi Kai Wildfire Safety Workshop

From left to right: Senator Laura Thielen, Captain David Jenkins (Honolulu FD), Cameron Sato (Senator Chang's Office), Kalama Pastor (Kamehameha Schools), Councilmember Trevor Ozawa, Senator Stanley Chang, Pablo Beimler (HWMO), Elizabeth Pickett (HWMO)

From left to right: Senator Laura Thielen, Captain David Jenkins (Honolulu FD), Cameron Sato (Senator Chang's Office), Kalama Pastor (Kamehameha Schools), Councilmember Trevor Ozawa, Senator Stanley Chang, Pablo Beimler (HWMO), Elizabeth Pickett (HWMO)

Hawaiʻi Kai residents have been on edge since the beginning of the year — over a dozen fires have been started near communities, one of which became a high-profile burn in Kamilonui Valley. Although most have been deemed suspicious by authorities, accidents can also happen (around 75% of brushfires in Hawaiʻi are accidental ignitions). With fire on the minds of so many residents, Senator Stanley Chang, Representative Gene Ward, Councilmember Trevor Ozawa, and Senator Laura Thielen worked across party lines to hold a Wildfire Safety Workshop on June 5 at Kamiloiki Elementary School.

HWMO had the honor of presenting an hour-long workshop highlighting wildfire readiness recommendations based on the Ready Set Go! and Wildfire Lookout! programs. We also worked to recruit people interested in being a part of Firewise Communities certification efforts. Our hope is that the fifty or so people who came out to the event will take action around their homes right away to create defensible space — but our even greater hope is that the community will start to come together for the larger goal of becoming a Firewise Community (or a couple of them).

Hawaii Kai Wildfire Safety Workshop 6/5/17