Waikoloa Village’s new Fire Management Action Committee formed recently and is already in full swing, a big step for Waikoloa’s wildfire protection. The team, led by Chair Mark Gordon, is working with HWMO to become a nationally-recognized Firewise Community as of 2016. The certification would make the community the largest Firewise Community in the State, a challenge that the team and HWMO is willing to take on.
On September13th, HWMO’s Pablo Beimler (Outreach Coordinator) and Mike Tomich (Board of Director) met with the WVA’s Roger Wehrsig, DOFAW’s Jay Hatayama, HFD’s West Hawthorne and Ed Kawasaki, WDFI’s Jen Lawson, and the Action Committee’s Mr. Gordon and Wayne Awai for a wildfire hazard assessment - a requirement for Firewise Community certification. The group drove to various sites around the village to examine wildfire hazards. Sites included the community fuelbreak (HWMO’s first grant-funded project that Waikoloa Village now maintains), fuels behind the schools, a vacant lot that was grazed by a goat-dozer for fuels reduction purposes (a pilot project facilitated by HWMO and WVA), and a larger grazed area on the critical northern/mauka boundary of the community. They also visited three homes to conduct brief home ignition zone assessments to fulfill one of the requirements of the Firewise hazard assessment.
After the assessment, HWMO will be compiling a report with recommendations for the Fire Management Action Committee to review. The Committee will discuss the recommendations and develop an action plan. Once completed, Waikoloa Village will be well on their way to Firewise certification as of 2016. Mahalo to our partners who joined the assessment and provided great input!