Fires Surge: Some 225 Brush Fires Have Burned On Oahu So Far This Year

Front page of Honolulu Star Advertiser on July 9, 2015.

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From the Source:

"Residents can help prevent and prepare for brush fires by removing flammable materials within 30 feet of homes, pruning trees so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground, and creating and practicing a family evacuation plan, according to HFD.

Pablo Beimler, education and outreach coordinator of the Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization, said tossing cigarette butts on the ground or the heat from a car parked near or on top of dry grass could trigger a fire. He said the organization found a correlation between population growth and an increase in brush fires.

The organization hopes to ramp up its outreach efforts, particularly in Waianae, which is typically dry, to engage residents about brush fire prevention and preparation through community action programs, he said.

'The big help is that a lot of the events (brush fires) are actually preventable,' Beimler said. 'We work with kids a lot. We think it’s a good way to start in terms of getting prevention methods out there.'

According to the organization, communities on Oahu especially at risk from brush fires include the Leeward Coast area. HFD data show that from January of last year, more than 100 occurred in Waianae, about 50 in Kapolei and nearly 40 in Waipahu."