El Nino means more wildfires. More wildfires means more impacts. We must all be ready for a busy fire year. Check out Wildfire LOOKOUT for wildfire prevention and preparedness resources at your fingertips.
"With El Niño comes drought usually and so that dries out all the vegetation and we can get an out of season active period in terms of brush fires," Kevin Kodama, hydrologist, National Weather Service, said. "For the Leeward areas, you're really getting out of a chance of any sort of meaningful rainfall for that side of the island anyway. It's the driest time of the year."
"The big risk factors are sort of all of these unused former agricultural lands but all this grass," Clay Trauernicht, wildland fire specialist, University of Hawaii, said.
"It should allow folks in those communities to start to get ready and realize the threat is there and they can do something about it now to minimize the impact," Captain Scot Seguirant, HFD, said.
To help prevent wildfires, Seguirant recommends residents cut their brush and vegetation to at least 30 feet away from their homes.