Hawaii Island: South Kohala

Study Links Climate Change to Increased Risk of Hawaii Wildfires

Credit: Dr. Clay Trauernicht

Credit: Dr. Clay Trauernicht

The need for more wildfire mitigation across Hawaii’s landscapes to protect natural resources and communities will only be greater with climate change. The time is now to take action!

This from our close colleague, a PFX coordinator, and a HWMO technical advisor, Dr. Clay Trauernicht, Wildfire Extension Specialist at University of Hawaii Manoa CTAHR.

From the Source:

The first study linking climate change to an increased probability of wildfires in Hawaiʻi also weighs the increased risks facing tropical regions around the world, according to University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa researcher Clay Trauernicht.

Based on changes in rainfall and temperature due to climate change, the annual risk of wildfire could increase up to 375 percent for parts of Hawaiʻi Island, the analysis shows.

Lead researcher Trauernicht, of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, tracked the “footprints” of historical fires on Hawaiʻi Island. His research shows how vegetation, ignition frequency and climate contribute to wildfire probability.

“The increased risk of fire stems from drought conditions due to low rainfall, as well as increased rainfall in the months prior to drought,” Trauernicht said. “This is because wet conditions mean greater growth of non-native grasses, which are the greatest fuel for wildfires in Hawaiʻi. Wet summer weather, combined with dry winter conditions, is characteristic of El Niño conditions and this winter looks likely to be another El Niño.”

Drought in West Hawaii Increases Risk of Wildfires Running Rampant Already

"North Kona, seen from the Highway 190 scenic lookout, is brown and dry from the ongoing drought." (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

"North Kona, seen from the Highway 190 scenic lookout, is brown and dry from the ongoing drought." (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

Did you know 99 percent of wildfires in Hawaii are started by people? This West Hawaii Today article written by reporter Max Dible, explores the effects of drought on wildfire. 

Check out HawaiiWildfire.org/lookout for tips on what you can do to help protect your home and family from wildfire.

From the Source:

Tamara Hynd, program and operations assistant with the Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization, said wildfires have already burned through roughly 34,000 acres across the state, more than double the yearly average of 17,000 with more than four months of a dry year yet to go.

“Drought always plays a factor because the longer it goes on, the more intense it gets,” she said. “Your larger fuels begin to dry out more and more.”

Some advice she offered to mitigate risk is to avoid parking on dry grass because heat from exhaust systems can ignite it, or to keep heavy machinery like welding equipment and weed whackers away from dry areas, as such work can result in sparks that start fires.

Hynd said it was repair to heavy equipment that was the catalyst for the wildfire that ignited in Volcano earlier this month.

People who keep their grass short, their rain gutters free of debris and who have a water source and/or fire extinguisher on hand are also less likely to cause accidental wildfires, she said.

Puako Brush Fire Scorches 3 Acres, Started by Powerline

" Firefighters work to douse a brush fire Thursday morning in Puako." Credit: Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today

"Firefighters work to douse a brush fire Thursday morning in Puako." Credit: Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today

One of the more unusual starts for a wildfire, but accidents happen and it is best to always be prepared for the next fire. We are glad to hear this fire didn't get any larger and impact the Firewise Community, Puako.

From the Source:

Battalion Chief John Whitman said the fire appeared to have started from a short on a Hawaii Electric Light Co. utility pole in the area. He said fire rescue personnel in South Kohala heard a loud explosion and then saw smoke. They subsequently reported it to dispatch and went to the scene.

Rhea Lee-Moku, HELCO spokeswoman, said personnel responded to the fire and are still working to determine its cause. However, she said a mynah bird appears to have contacted HELCO equipment by Hoohana Street, sparking the fire.

Waikoloa Brush Fire Burned Over 18,000 Acres

Amazing work put in by our firefighters who put it all on the line (literally) to protect important places such as Waikoloa Village and the Waikoloa Dry Forest Preserve. This fire will go down as the 2nd largest in Hawaii's modern history, falling short of the 25,000 acre fire in 2005 that burned to the very edge of Waikoloa Village.

Satellite image of the burn area.

Satellite image of the burn area.

Scorched brush is seen after a brush fire moved through Waikoloa. Credit: Bert Horikawa / Hawaii News Now

Scorched brush is seen after a brush fire moved through Waikoloa. Credit: Bert Horikawa / Hawaii News Now

The Hawaii County firefighters reported significant progress Monday morning in battling the Waikoloa brush fire that has been burning since Wednesday.

HFD said the fire was 95 percent contained. The massive wind-whipped brush fire has already scorched nearly 18,000 acres of land so far.

Authorities also report that what remains of the brush fire is away from public roadways, and no closures are in place. 

Waikoloa Brush Fire Continues to Burn, Scorching 3,000 acres

"A large fire is blanketing the air in Waikoloa with heavy smoke." Credit: Hawaii News Now

"A large fire is blanketing the air in Waikoloa with heavy smoke." Credit: Hawaii News Now

We are thinking of you, Waikoloa. Be safe and stay aware of your surroundings. A big mahalo to all of the firefighters from county, state, and federal agencies who are working tirelessly to protect the community!

Should an evacuation occur, which is not expected at this time, CERT members would help notify residents to evacuate by going door-to-door and also with a megaphone. However, relying on your own judgment is critical during a fire. If conditions do not look favorable, whether the spread of the fire or ember showers or smoke...leaving early is the best option. 

Here are some helpful resources for you during the fire, but also use these to plan for the next inevitable fire. Waikoloa is one of the most fire-prone regions in the entire state.

How to protect yourself from smoke inhalation during a fire:

http://www.hawaiiwildfire.org/fire-resource-library-blog/air-oasis-family-fire-guides?rq=smoke

Your all-in-one wildfire preparedness guide:

http://www.hawaiiwildfire.org/fire-resource-library-blog/rsg-your-personal-wildland-fire-action-guide

From the Source:

Hawaii Island firefighters are still working to contain a brush fire that burned at least 3,000 acres in Waikoloa on Wednesday.

"Hawaii County Fire is reporting heavy smoke blowing into Waikoloa Village. We ask people to monitor air conditions and if you have respiratory issues please take necessary precautions," officials said. 

While most of the road blocks have been lifted, Waikoloa Road is still closed between Mamalahoa and Paniolo Avenue.

9 Bravo finds a permanent home: HFD 9-B Volunteer Fire Company’s new South Kohala facility nears completion

"9 Bravo’s two fire trucks are displayed outside the new building July 20 for the open house event. The facility is located between Mauna Lani and downtown Waimea. (LANDRY FULLER/SPECIAL TO WEST HAWAII TODAY)"

"9 Bravo’s two fire trucks are displayed outside the new building July 20 for the open house event. The facility is located between Mauna Lani and downtown Waimea. (LANDRY FULLER/SPECIAL TO WEST HAWAII TODAY)"

This is huge! Congratulations to Captain Mike Shattuck, 9 Bravo and the communities that have supported efforts to boost fire response in South Kohala. Now it is time to increase safety for communities such as Kanehoa (a Firewise community since 2015) by raising more funds for a fire hydrant, security fencing, and gates. Tax deductible donations to help complete 9 Bravo’s new facility can be mailed to AOK, P.O. Box 7121, Kamuela, Hawaii 96743. Info: Call Guido Giacometti at 896-3849.

From the Source:

On July 20, local residents, firemen, county and state officials gathered at the end of Shattuck’s street for an open house of a new building that sits smack dab between the Anekona Estates and Ouli subdivisions.

One day soon it will house a bright yellow engine pumper and a 6×6 tanker, along with hoses, pumps, parts and protective gear used by Hawaii Fire Department’s (HFD) 9-B Volunteer Fire Company, more commonly known as 9 Bravo. But to do so, $25,000 will need to be raised to buy a fire hydrant, security, plumbing and electric to complete the facility...

Volunteer firefighters first banded together in 2009 to help county firemen protect South Kohala. 9 Bravo now consists of eight volunteers who are trained and dispatched by HFD to battle blazes around the island — all without pay.

The major elements of the building are now complete, but a number of items are still needed.

“A fire hydrant, security fencing, gates and other details must be finished in order to obtain an occupancy permit,” he said.

Brushfire Near Mauna Lani in South Kohala Burns Around 100 Acres

The fire occurred north of the intersection of Hoohana Street and North Kaniku Drive on June 27 and 28.

The fire occurred north of the intersection of Hoohana Street and North Kaniku Drive on June 27 and 28.

From the Source:

Hawaii island firefighters battled a brush fire that blackened an estimated 100 acres in South Kohala from Wednesday evening to this morning.

The fire was first reported at 10:19 p.m. Wednesday on Hoohana Street, north of the intersection with North Kaniku Drive.

3 Brush Fires Started by Fireworks Along Highway 190

"A Hawaii County firefighter douses a brush fire off Highway 190 near mile marker 18 Friday afternoon." Laura Ruminski / West Hawaii Today

"A Hawaii County firefighter douses a brush fire off Highway 190 near mile marker 18 Friday afternoon." Laura Ruminski / West Hawaii Today

Mahalo to the good Samaritan who put out the first fire -- keeping a fire extinguisher in your vehicle is highly recommended. 

The Hawaii Police Department said it is investigating the fires and thinks fireworks started the blazes.

Anyone with information or who might have witnessed the fires being started is urged to call Detective Carrie Akina at 326-4646, ext. 277.


From the Source:

Fireworks appear to have sparked three brush fires reported within an hour Friday that forced a road closure on Highway 190 near Puuanahulu.

The blazes were ignited at mile markers 18, 21 and 26, starting shortly after 11 a.m., according to Hawaii Fire Department officials.

The first was put out by Stafford Lombard, who was driving by on his way to Hilo.

Fire officials say Lombard got out of his car and used a fire extinguisher. The driver of a cement mixer truck stopped to assist and smothered the remaining flames with a hose. Firefighters came and mopped up.

Wai Watchers: The Vital Role of Volunteers in Watershed Health

"Dedicated Makai Watch Volunteer James Heacock (clipboard) has been doing surveys for 10 years. Here, he surveys the coast with fisherman Kawika Auld." Photo courtesy of Christine Shepard

"Dedicated Makai Watch Volunteer James Heacock (clipboard) has been doing surveys for 10 years. Here, he surveys the coast with fisherman Kawika Auld." Photo courtesy of Christine Shepard

What does it take to protect an entire watershed? Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration. Great feature in Ke Ola Magazine highlighting South Kohala Coastal Partnership efforts - we are proud to be a part of such a solid partnership!

From the Source:

The South Kohala Coastal Partnership is composed of over 70 participants including 30 state and local experts such as biologists, kūpuna, cultural practitioners, teachers, fishermen, coastal business owners, land managers, resort representatives, and more. Together they tackle everything from land-based sources of pollution, to unsustainable fishing practices, to invasive species. Community participation has provided essential people-power for data collection and projects supporting this work.

The reefs located at the bottom of Kohala Mountain reflect what happens at higher elevations. Over the centuries, events such as the historic harvest of sandalwood, the introduction of species like goats, overgrazing by cattle, fires, and floods have converted much of the once-forested mountain into grassland and denuded landscapes. Without roots, ferns, and mosses to catch and hold the heavy rains, acres of bare soil wash downstream. This erosion buries corals in sediment and reduces the reef’s once-rich diversity of fish and invertebrates. Did you know that each grain of sediment can be re-suspended 10,000 times by waves, blocking light and re-smothering coral over and over? Agencies like The Hawai‘i Wildfire Management Organization and The Kohala Center are working in partnership with landowners and ranchers to reduce this impact up-slope.

 

Officer Bidal and Firefighter/EMT Willey are Honored by Aloha Exchange Club

Officer Conrad Bidal (L) Firefighter/EMT Kainoa Willey (R). Credit: Hawaii 24/7

Officer Conrad Bidal (L) Firefighter/EMT Kainoa Willey (R). Credit: Hawaii 24/7

Kainoa is also an amazing musician - he and our project assistant, Tom Loomis, played hours of sweet tunes for our Denny's Fundraiser in 2015! Congratulations Firefighter Willey and Officer Bidal from all of us at Hawaii Wildfire.

From the Source:

Firefighter Willey is honored for his outstanding work as a Firefighter/EMT in West Hawaiʻi, but what sets him apart is his initiative in volunteering for several community projects sponsored by the Hawaiʻi Fire Department including spearheading numerous fundraising efforts for Fire Department Personnel in need of financial assistance due to illness, injury, or traumatic events.

Authorities Investigate 3 Suspicious Brush Fires Along Waikoloa Road

"Hawaii Fire Department quickly extinguished three brush fires along Waikoloa Road and Route 190 Monday morning. Police believe the fires to be suspicious." Credit: Judy Wilder / West Hawaii Today

"Hawaii Fire Department quickly extinguished three brush fires along Waikoloa Road and Route 190 Monday morning. Police believe the fires to be suspicious." Credit: Judy Wilder / West Hawaii Today

From the Source:

"The first fire occurred on Route 190 near mile marker 12. according to the release, fire personnel were able to quickly extinguish it. The flames consumed approximately 1,000 square feet.

The second brush fire was discovered on the south side of Waikoloa Road near mile marker 10, which crews quickly extinguished. About a 50-foot area was burned.

The last blaze discovered was also on the south side of Waikoloa Road near Uluwehi Street. It destroyed approximately 1,000 square feet."

"Anyone who witnessed the cause of the fires or with information about the blazes is asked to contact Det. Carrie Akina, via email at Carrie.Akina@hawaiicounty.gov, or call at 326-4646 ext. 277.

The department also encourages community members to be aware of the recent fires, especially in the areas of Waikoloa Road and Route 190, and to report any suspicious activity in the area immediately to police at 935-3311."

9 Honored During Annual Sayre Foundation Awards Dinner

"Dr. Frank Sayre and his wife, Laura Mallery-Sayre, join Gov. Davis Ige and his wife for a photo with the 2017 honorees during the 20th annual Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation Awards Dinner and Fundraiser on Saturday at The Fairmont Orchid on the Kohala Coast." Credit: Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today

"Dr. Frank Sayre and his wife, Laura Mallery-Sayre, join Gov. Davis Ige and his wife for a photo with the 2017 honorees during the 20th annual Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation Awards Dinner and Fundraiser on Saturday at The Fairmont Orchid on the Kohala Coast." Credit: Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today

A toast to the Sayres for their incredible dedication to providing local first responders with the rescue equipment they need and to the nine honorees for their heroic rescue efforts. 

From the Source:

"In the past 20 years, the Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation has raised $1.76 million, helping get emergency responders what they need to get the job done.

On a night dedicated to celebrating the impacts they’ve had on the lives they saved, the event’s honorees made special note of the impact the foundation has had on them.

'We’re just doing our job; we don’t do this to be recognized,' said Judd, who was honored for his involvement in resuscitating a heart attack patient and a cliff rescue. 'The heroes are the Sayres and the people behind this organization and those who support it.'"

Firefighter Chili Cook-Off Spices Things Up in Waimea

PTA Fire Chief Eric Moller serves their recipe to Connie Bender at the Chili Cook-Off for Wildfire Prevention Saturday at the Parker Ranch Red Barn. (Laura Ruminski-West Hawaii Today)

PTA Fire Chief Eric Moller serves their recipe to Connie Bender at the Chili Cook-Off for Wildfire Prevention Saturday at the Parker Ranch Red Barn. (Laura Ruminski-West Hawaii Today)

We are ecstatic to see that the Firefighter Chili Cook-Off made the front page of the West Hawaii Today on Monday, August 28! Thank you to everyone who made the cook-off such a wonderful event and successful fundraiser. You can also read more by checking out our blog post.

From the Source:

"The sold out fundraiser for the Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization (HWMO) was attended by over 200 guests who sampled and voted for their favorite chili recipe.

HWMO’s mission is dedicated to proactive and collaborative wildfire related education, outreach and technical assistance, project implementation and research.

Money raised will go to the nonprofit organization’s operating costs, according to Pablo Beimler, Community Outreach Coordinator.

Beimler said 25,000 flyers recently went out to students across the state as part of their school outreach, and coloring books are on their way."

Dry Year So Far for Big Island

"The flood channel that runs under the intersection of Kinoole and Mohouli streets in Hilo was dry Tuesday." Credit - Hollyn Johnson / Hawaii Tribune-Herald

"The flood channel that runs under the intersection of Kinoole and Mohouli streets in Hilo was dry Tuesday." Credit - Hollyn Johnson / Hawaii Tribune-Herald

Drier conditions, even on the wet side, means a higher potential for wildfire. You might live in the green, but when severe droughts occur, anywhere can be at risk for fire. Be prepared, have a plan, and stay vigilant using the Ready, Set, Go! Wildland Fire Action Guide and Wildfire Lookout!

From the Source:

"Hilo is on pace to have one of its drier years on record, and July’s rainfall totals brought little if any relief to drought-affected areas of the Big Island, according to the National Weather Service in Honolulu."

"'It’s been pretty dry up on the Hamakua Coast and down into the the leeward South Kohala district. They’re considered to be under severe drought as well as the interior section of the Big Island. The eastern side of Pohakuloa Training Area has been pretty dry. The western side has been getting some spotty rain, so some of the gauges there are pretty close to normal,' Kodama said Monday.

The most recent drought statement from the weather service said ranchers in leeward South Kohala 'have destocked pastures' due to 'very poor vegetation conditions.' It noted that pastures in Ookala, where Big Island Dairy operates, and in Paauilo were becoming dry, and a ginger farmer in Umauma reported stunted growth in his crops."

Three Fires Near Upper Road Suspected Arson

Highway 190 Fire in March 2016. Credit: Bret Yager / West Hawaii Today

Highway 190 Fire in March 2016. Credit: Bret Yager / West Hawaii Today

Arson is a serious crime. Call HPD at 935-3311 if you have information on these fires.

From the Source:

"Three brush fires ignited on Highway 190 over the weekend appear to be connected, officials confirmed Monday afternoon. 

The cluster of blazes occurred on Saturday and Sunday just outside Kailua-Kona. The first was discovered at about 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at about mile marker 29 on Mamalahoa Highway, or upper road. The second was hours later at 7:45 p.m. a half mile up the road.

The third fire was spotted Sunday at 1:35 p.m. at mile marker 30."

"The Hawaii Fire Department battled a rash of arson fires in the same area early last year, said Battalion Chief Darwin Okinaka."

Witnesses Recount Waimea Blaze

Aerial view of Waimea fire. Credit: Hawaii Fire Department

Aerial view of Waimea fire. Credit: Hawaii Fire Department

We want to mahalo again the efforts of first responders for their efforts in keeping Waimea residents as safe as possible during the 2,000-plus acre brushfire. The number one priority is lives and safety and no people were injured during what could have been a much more destructive fire. However, we wish for a quick recovery for those impacted by the fire, including the woman who lost her home during the fire, Ms. Lindsey-Barkley who lost a couple sheep, and Parker Ranch who lost a great deal of water line and fencing. Many pets and livestock were evacuated safely during the fire. Having a pet and livestock evacuation plan is an important addition to your evacuation plan. You can find some of this information and more on wildfire readiness in the Ready Set Go! Wildland Fire Action Guide.

From the Source:

"The woman said she went back to the house to save her animals: two cats, a dog and a bunny. 

The resident said the owner of the land has 25 head of cattle and two horses. All were safely evacuated."

"Nahua Guilloz, senior manager for the ranch, said 11,000 linear feet of above-ground water line and 400 feet of linear fencing were burned."

Clean-Up Efforts Underway in Waimea Following 2,200 Acre Brush Fire

"Land is visibly charred near Highway 190 in Waimea Saturday. Friday's runaway brush fire Friday burned 2,200-acres, destroyed a home and closed the highway for several hours." Credit: Tom Callis / Hawaii Tribune Herald

"Land is visibly charred near Highway 190 in Waimea Saturday. Friday's runaway brush fire Friday burned 2,200-acres, destroyed a home and closed the highway for several hours." Credit: Tom Callis / Hawaii Tribune Herald

Our hearts go out to the residents who lost their home during Friday's runaway brushfire in Waimea that burned 2,200 acres of land. Fortunately, no one was injured but one lost home affects our whole community. We also wish Parker Ranch the best for its recovery after losing several miles of water line and fencing and other infrastructure (as well as grazing land). Parker Ranch has been a long-time partner of HWMO's and they are a major event sponsor for the upcoming Firefighter Chili Cook-Off benefit on August 26th. 

From the Source:

“'As to why it started, and how it started, we don’t know. We have a burn ban in West Hawaii, so no one should be burning anything, so on that part, it’s illegal, but I don’t think it was an intentionally set brush fire.'"

"'It burned around (2,200 acres), and we’re expecting most of that to be ours,” Guilloz said. 'We had several miles of water line burned and fencing as well that has been burned. They were able to save most of our water tanks, but right now we’re still (assessing).'"

Waimea Fire Burns More Than 2000 Acres and Shuts Down Airport

Credit: Hawaii Tribune Herald

Credit: Hawaii Tribune Herald

Large brushfires can have many impacts outside of just land area burned: homes are at risk, flights can be cancelled, animal shelters can be in danger, even from just smoke inhalation. That is exactly what happened during a large 2,000-plus acre wildfire in Waimea. Our brave firefighters were able to keep damage to a minimum during the wildfire and help from Humane Society volunteers ensured animals were kept safe from the flames and smoke. Community is more important than ever during times like these. We thank community members and firefighters for their efforts. A great way to honor our firefighters (and fire prevention and mitigation efforts) will be the Firefighter Chili Cook-Off in Waimea. Come join us -- we could use your help especially after scares like these.

From the Source:

"'We could see a lot of smoke going into the sky,' Carlos said. 'And we were like, ‘Oh my gosh, what is that?’ And the closer we got to Waimea town, we could see it was really close to town.'

The fire prompted Hawaii Island Humane Society to evacuate its Waimea shelter Friday afternoon.

Director Donna Whitaker said in an email that volunteers removed 55 animals from the shelter. They were taken into the care of community members, staff and volunteers."

"The Waimea-Kohala Airport closed its runway Friday as a precaution, airport manager Tim Hand said when contacted at about 2 p.m. The closure was expected to remain in place until 10 p.m. Hand said the airport also had received several phone calls."

"Police are asking for the public’s assistance in locating witnesses to the start of the fire. The investigation is being continued by the Area II Criminal Investigation Section. They are asking anyone with information to call Detective Dominic Uyetake at 326-4646, ext. 228, or email him at Dominic.Uyetake@hawaiicounty.gov. They also can call the Police Department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311.

Those who want to remain anonymous can call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and might be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000."

No Injuries or Structure Damage in West Hawaii July 4th Fires

"The Hawaii Fire Department responded to a brush fire off Kawaihae Road on Tuesday night. Courtesy Colin Edsman"

"The Hawaii Fire Department responded to a brush fire off Kawaihae Road on Tuesday night. Courtesy Colin Edsman"

Peak fire season is here and South Kohala has above normal fire potential this summer. Be prepared and check out the Wildfire Lookout! webpage for tips on how to better prepare your home, family, and community for wildfire.

From the Source:

"The largest fire reported was a brush fire across a couple of acres near Kamuela View Estates along Kawaihae Road, said West Hawaii Battalion Chief John Whitman. Police said shortly before 11:30 Tuesday night that the road was closed near the 61-mile marker as a result of the fire.

Whitman said the fire was possibly caused by fireworks and that it was under control within a couple hours."

Advancing FAC in Hawaii: Increasing Awareness, Thinking Both Short and Long Term and...Goats?

Click to Read the Blog Post

Click to Read the Blog Post

In 2015, we began working with several communities statewide on grassroots-level community wildfire protection efforts, primarily through Firewise’s communities recognition program. Only a few years later, we’re happy to say that our communities are seeing some great success! Find out how HWMO and its partners are working with communities to advance Fire Adapted Community goals in the latest highlight on the FAC Learning Network blog.

From the Source:

"These recommendations have already encouraged Firewise committees to start thinking outside of the box. For example, two years ago, Waikoloa Village received a fuels reduction grant from the USDA Forest Service. The village used the funds to hire a goat-grazing contractor to reduce flammable vegetation on vacant lots. As phase two of the project, the community will be installing permanent fence posts to allow for more regular grazing. Eventually, they may transform these lots into a multi-use area where goats continue to graze and the community also grows citrus trees.

These communities are also engaging residents through outreach. A few months ago, the Launiupoko Firewise committee sent over 300 copies of ReadySetGo! Wildland Fire Action Guides to residents. This spring, they will be hiring a contractor to remove flammable vegetation along an established bike path. Kahikinui, a small homestead in one of the most remote areas on Maui, worked tirelessly last year to engage neighboring large landowners and various agencies in their Firewise efforts. Their persistence and creativity led to a collaborative fuels mitigation project that received funding from the Department of Hawaiian Homelands and a local wind farm."