Moloka‘i Fire at Manawainui Gulch Likely Sparked by Severed Power Line

Manawainui Gulch on Molokai where the recent fire occurred.

Manawainui Gulch on Molokai where the recent fire occurred.

From the Source:

A brush fire reported near Molokaʻi’s Manawainui Bridge on Tuesday appears to have been sparked by a high voltage power line.  Maui fire officials say the line had been severed and fell to the ground.

12 Fires, 1 Injury During 4th of July Holiday on Maui

"Maui fireworks injuries. Maui Now graphic. Background image: Rachael Johnson"

"Maui fireworks injuries. Maui Now graphic. Background image: Rachael Johnson"

Maui County firefighters were kept busy on 4th of July. We commend and thank them for their amazing efforts responding to 12 fire incidents, including 5 brushfires, and a fireworks-related injury on what usually is a busy day for them. We wish for a speedy recovery for the girl injured from the fireworks incident.

From the Source:

"There were also five brush fires. One occurred on Ala Ekahi St. in Hoʻolehua, Molokaʻi and was the only brush fire related to fireworks. Fire officials say the incident is believed to have been started by aerial fireworks.

The four other brush fires occurred on Maui, in Kīhei, Kahului, and Puʻunēnē. Three of the fires were smaller than 1,000 square feet and one was around five acres in size. Three had undetermined causes and one was determined to be intentionally set after a witness reported seeing a male individual ignite the brush near the canoe hale on North Kīhei Road, and then flee the scene.

The five acre brush fire occurred at 11:27 p.m., July 4, off of South Firebreak Rd. next to the Hawaiian Cement facility, a mile east of Mokulele Highway. The cause of that fire was undetermined. Two engines and two water tankers from Kahului and Wailea remained on scene to mop-up the area until noon on Wednesday."

Watch Out for Wildfires

Currently there are several updates to Community Wildfire Protection Plans in the works, as well as new plans being developed.

Mahalo to The Garden Island for the nice feature on the wildfire situation in Kauai and the Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs) that HWMO has been working.

From the Source:

“Don’t be fooled by the rain we might get and think we’re off the hook,” said Elizabeth Pickett, executive director of Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization, a nonprofit that’s dedicated to spreading wildfire education. “Rain makes more vegetation grow, that dries out and then there’s more fuel for wildfire.”

Pablo Beimler, HWMO coordinator, said with the extensive drought period the state experienced earlier this year, and the EL Nino phenomenon that’s in effect “could spell trouble in the number of ignitions and the sizes.”

In preparation for that dry summer, HWMO has been working on six Community Wildfire Protection Plans, which outline the wildfire hazard sand issues each specific community faces, the organizations and entitles that have a stake in wildfire management, and how they can work together to minimize the number and sizes of wildfires this season.

Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization Supports Formation of Firewise Communities in Hawaii

"According to the Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization, about 0.5% of Hawaii’s total land area burns annually, as much or more than the proportion of land are burned in any other US state. In Hawaii, 98% of wildfires are human caused."

We are extremely grateful to be a part of the Firewise Communities program and were highlighted for our efforts in January's National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) Fire Break newsletter!

From the Source:

"Wildfire in Hawaii, like anywhere else, threatens the safety of firefighters, residents andhomes. It also causes damage to the air quality, which impacts human health, and contributes to soil erosion problems that can cause damage to sensitive coral reefs. One of the partners in Hawaii working to help lessen the loss due to wildfire in Hawaii is the Hawaiian Wildfire Management Organization (HWMO). They are a small nonprofit organization that has been working together with fire departments, the Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife, communities and others to help develop Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs) and Firewise Communities. The HWMO was officially founded in 2000 by a group of South Kohala/North Kona regional experts who wanted to create a non-profit organization to serve as an arm for the fire suppression and land management agencies to conduct prevention, pre-suppression, and post-fire work. They became incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit in 2002. Since then, they have grown to not only address wildfire issues for all of Hawaii Island, but also the entire state and some of the Western Pacific (namely Yap, Palau, Guam).

According to Pablo Beimler, Coordinator with HWMO, "'Although we have a small staff, HWMO is continually able to accomplish a number of projects due to its extensive partnerships. We can't say it enough: by staying in communication with our partners on each project, and expanding partnerships where needed, they are able to ensure our projects stay grounded and effective.'"

"Pablo described other wildfire preparedness projects in which HWMO is involved. "We have a Firewise demonstration garden in Waikoloa Village, where we have a number of native, drought-tolerant plants growing strategically around a demo home to give community members an example of good defensible space practices. Our team has held a number of community events at the garden and have had a youth environmental empowerment group called the Malama Kai Ocean Warriors help be the ‘stewards’ of the garden. In terms of other youth outreach, we also go to numerous schools and youth programs to teach students about wildfire prevention and preparedness, including Firewise and Ready, Set, Go! principles. We also hold community wildfire preparedness workshops for various organizations/groups or for the general public where we give people a run-down on Firewise and Ready, Set, Go!."