evacuations

Kauai fire crews handle brush fire that forced evacuations in Poipu

There were evacuations in Poipu yesterday afternoon due to a brushfire sparked at 3:45 pm.

From the source:

At one point, dozens of firefighters and three helicopters were working to extinguish the fire. Strong winds pushed the flames toward Koloa, though no structures were immediately threatened. With the dry brush and steady trade winds, it was enough to make residents uneasy.

“The houses down below us will be the biggest concern because a couple of years ago, a couple of houses burned from a brush fire in the same exact area coming through,” resident Aaron Hoff said.

The evacuation order for residents along Kipuka Street has since been lifted and an emergency shelter at the Koloa Neighborhood Center was set to have closed at about 9:30 p.m.  Poipu Road also reopened opened shortly after. So far there are no reports of injuries. No estimation on how many acres have burned so far.

Wildfire Rips Along South Korea's Eastern Coast, Prompting National Emergency

Our thoughts are with those impacted by these tragic wildfires in South Korea.

“A forest fire is seen raging near buildings in Sokcho, South Korea. South Korea mobilized troops and helicopters to deal with the massive blaze that roared through forests and cities along the eastern coast.” Credit: Kangwon Ilbo / Getty Images

“A forest fire is seen raging near buildings in Sokcho, South Korea. South Korea mobilized troops and helicopters to deal with the massive blaze that roared through forests and cities along the eastern coast.” Credit: Kangwon Ilbo / Getty Images

From the Source:

South Korea is using its military to contain a large forest fire that spread quickly after igniting in Gangwon Province, along the country's east coast. Strong winds moved the blaze from city to city, prompting President Moon Jae-in to declare a national emergency.

It's being called the worst wildfire to hit South Korea in years, forcing thousands to evacuate and ravaging rural towns. Fire officials are reporting two deaths, according to the Associated Press.

In Gangwon's national forests and other woodlands, fires are common in the spring — but they usually don't spread so quickly, and they're usually confined to unpopulated areas, residents tell the Korea Herald.

500 Acre Brush Fire Behind Nanakuli Sack N Save 100% Contained

Fire behind Sack N Save in Nanakuli. Credit: KITV4

Fire behind Sack N Save in Nanakuli. Credit: KITV4

From the Source:

Honolulu firefighters say a West Oahu brush fire that burned since pre-dawn on Sunday is 100 percent contained. The fire department says 500 acres burned, and hot spots and smoke are coming from burned areas. 

HFD says strong gusty wind conditions, accessibility, and terrain are challenging fire fighters efforts. In Nanakuli, the fire came as close as 100 feet to some homes.

HFD says the fire originated in Nanakuli Valley and branched off into Waianae Valley. Throughout the day, it was an active fire that firefighters battled on multiple fronts, and with the help of the federal fire department.  



Loloa Street Wildfire in North Kona Forces Evacuations

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Fortunately the fire did not do damage or cause any casualties — with the winds blowing from the Kona Low storm, it could have been a lot worse.

From the Source:

Hawaii County Police say a fire is forcing the evacuation of North Kona Sunday.

Evacuation orders were announced shortly after noon.

Police say Loloa Street is closed in Kalaoa as crews respond, and officials suggest that drivers use alternate routes.

Hotel Wailea Luxury Resort Evacuated Due to Fast-Moving Wildfire

Brush fire that forced evacuation of luxury Maui resort is seen in background on January 6, 2019

Brush fire that forced evacuation of luxury Maui resort is seen in background on January 6, 2019

From the Source:

A luxury Maui resort was evacuated Sunday night as a fast-moving brush fire swept through Wailea, CBS Hawaii affiliate KGMB reports.  Guests and employees at Hotel Wailea, a five-star resort, were evacuated at about 8:30 p.m., almost two hours after the wind-whipped blaze started.

Hotel Wailea shut off propane tanks and police were on the property knocking on doors telling people to leave.

The American Red Cross of Hawaii opened an emergency shelter at a local community center to assist affected visitors and residents.

In California Wildfires, Disabled People May Be Left Behind

Credit: Elijah Nouvelage / Getty Images

Credit: Elijah Nouvelage / Getty Images

The voices of those with disabilities need to be heard and included in all disaster preparedness planning. Here is a powerful article written by a wheelchair user who uses a ventilator on ways you can support people with disabilities as frequent natural disasters have become the worsening normal with climate change.

From the Source:

Climate change is real. Frequent natural disasters are the new normal. Right now, disabled advocates are working with communities all over the state connecting them to the help they need. Community organizations and informal networks need support coordinating services and providing direct assistance. Our lives are at stake and thoughts and prayers are not enough. Below are some ways you can support people with disabilities and the general population during these wildfires and the ones to come in the near future.


1. Ability Tools is a program of the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers, providing medical equipment, daily living aids, and technology to people in shelters who need them. They are currently taking donations, and you can contact them via Facebook or by calling 1-800-390-2699 (1-800-900-0706 TTY). Support them by donating money or equipment in good condition.

2. Donate to the Portlight Strategies/Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies, a national organization on disability rights, accessibility and inclusion related to disaster operations. It manages a 24-hour disaster hotline for for people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs (1-800-626-4959 or info@disasterstrategy.org)

3. Give money to Mask Oakland, a volunteer group of queer disabled people delivering free N95 respirator masks to Oakland’s most vulnerable. They use donations to buy more masks and post receipts of all their purchases. Twitter: @MaskOakland; Venmo: @maskoakland.

4. Donate to the Northern California Fire Relief Fund by the North Valley Community Foundation to raise money to support the operations of organizations sheltering evacuees of the Camp Fire.

5. Give to Supplying Aid to Victims of Emergency (SAVE) program from the California Fire Foundation, which gives $100 gift cards to people impacted by wildfires including firefighters and civilians.

Fueling the Fire: Trump Thinks Logging Will Stop the Burning in California. It won't.

“On the left is the Camp Fire in Big Bend, California, and on the right the Woolsey Fire in Malibu, California.” - Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images and David McNew/Getty Images

“On the left is the Camp Fire in Big Bend, California, and on the right the Woolsey Fire in Malibu, California.” - Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images and David McNew/Getty Images

One of the most renowned wildland fire experts, Stephen J. Pyne, offers more than his two cents of why the California fires are as extreme as they are…and it is not because California has not removed enough trees.

From the Source:

Where fires are crashing into towns, the real fuel is the built environment. Aerial photos of savaged suburbs tend to show incinerated structures and still-standing trees. The vegetation is adapted to fire; the houses aren’t. Once multiple structures begin to burn, the local fire services are overwhelmed and the fire spreads from building to building. This is the kind of urban conflagration Americans thought they had banished in the early 20th century. It’s like watching measles or polio return. Clearly, the critical reforms must target our houses and towns and revaccinate them against today’s fire threats. The National Fire Protection Association’s Firewise program shows how to harden houses and create defensible space without nuking the scene into asphalt or dirt.

Too often, whether we’re talking about politics or fire management, the discussion ends up in absolutes. We leave the land to nature, we strip it, or we convert it to built landscapes. We have either the wild or the wrecked. In fact, there are lots of options available, and they will work best as cocktails. There is a place for prescribed burning, for prescribed grazing, for prescribed thinning (a kind of woody weeding), for prescribed chipping and masticating by machines, for greenbelting—crafting swathes of low-fuel land use like recreational parks or even golf courses—and, in select sites, for prescribed logging. Most treatments should concentrate where people and high-value assets are at risk—exurbs, suburbs, municipal watersheds. Elsewhere, in wildlands, some kind of managed fire will likely prove the most usable means, and in the West, hybrid practices—half suppression, half prescribed burn—are becoming common.

Brush Fire Threatens Homes in Maui as Hurricane Lane Downgrades to Category 1

“Hurricane Lane, which was just downgraded to a Category 1 storm, is still very dangerous because of the extreme rainfall. But ironically, Maui could use the rain. (Video by Don McCuaig/YouTube)”

“Hurricane Lane, which was just downgraded to a Category 1 storm, is still very dangerous because of the extreme rainfall. But ironically, Maui could use the rain. (Video by Don McCuaig/YouTube)”

When natural hazards collide - Hurricane Lane has brought the winds and fueled fires in West Maui. We are wishing for everyone’s safety there and across the state.

From the Source:

Then in the morning hours, a new threat emerged in Maui - brush fires starting in Lahaina and moving up the west side of the island. The winds from the hurricane and dry conditions were fueling these fires.

ABC7 Meteorologist Mike Nicco says as the hurricane comes closer to Maui, those winds will pick up. "A hurricane is coming, the last thing you want is rain because you know there's going to be flooding," Nicco said. "You've already seen the flooding on the Big Island and that's what's coming, but to help out that fire, you could use some rain and so far they haven't seen much."

One woman was treated for burns and some residents in Kaanapali and Lahaina were evacuated, including former Bay Area news photographer Don McCuaig. He lives near the area where the fire is now spreading in Kaanapali Hillside, and shared video of the blaze.

"The fire is literally going horizontally," McCuaig said. "They have evacuated everybody out. Our street is being evacuated."

Brush Fire Prompts Evacuation of Palamanui Campus

"Firefighters battle a fire on Ane Keohokalole Highway near Palamanui Tuesday afternoon." (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

"Firefighters battle a fire on Ane Keohokalole Highway near Palamanui Tuesday afternoon." (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

From the Source:

The fire, reported around 1:45 p.m., is burning vacant land north of Kaiminani Drive and makai of Ane Keohokalole Highway.

As of 3:20 p.m., fire officials said 80-100 acres had been burned and was not under control.

Hawaii Community College — Palamanui officials said the campus was evacuated about 3 p.m. All afternoon and evening classes have been canceled.

Crews Busy with Flare-ups as Wildfires in Waianae, Makaha Near 9,000 Acres

From the Source:

With 8,800 acres already burned, there's still no end in sight for two wildfires in Leeward Oahu.

On Tuesday, the Department of Education announced Leihoku and Makaha elementary schools reopened after flames got dangerously close to the schools on Monday forcing officials to cancel what was supposed to be the first day of classes.

NASA FIRMS satellite imagery of Oahu fires (most current areas that are burning as of Aug. 7 12 pm). Orange and red are different satellites.

NASA FIRMS satellite imagery of Oahu fires (most current areas that are burning as of Aug. 7 12 pm). Orange and red are different satellites.

NASA FIRMS satellite imagery of Oahu fires (burn areas since the start of the fires). Orange and red are different satellites.

NASA FIRMS satellite imagery of Oahu fires (burn areas since the start of the fires). Orange and red are different satellites.

 

"The fuel load is very dry. It's been a hot summer. We haven't had a fire in a long time. There's a lot of fuel load out there, so all of these things are combining," said [Battalion Chief Howard] Naone. "Right now, everybody's kind of relaxed. These guys were on duty on Saturday, so they're tired, and they're trying to not rush. Rushing leads to injuries and leads to people getting hurt and bad decisions like that, so we're just trying to take our time."

"We're taxing the total island of resources. Engines are coming from the windward side of the island. They're coming from town. They're coming from as far away as Kahuku to come here and fight the fire," said Naone.

Latest Leeward Oahu Brush Fires Update: 2 Elementary Schools Closed, Structures Destroyed

We are deeply sorry for the losses so far incurred by the multiple wildfires burning in Leeward Oahu. Many livelihoods are also being affected by the fire -- we are thinking of you from the Big Island. Wildfire preparedness tips including what to do when a fire is burning in your area or if you are trapped in you home: http://www.hawaiiwildfire.org/fire-resource-library-blog/rsg-your-personal-wildland-fire-action-guide
 

From the Source:

"Monday marks day three of the ongoing battle to extinguish wildfires burning out of control on Oahu's Leeward Coast.

At least two fires have been burning since Saturday morning, charring a combined total of 5,000 acres.

View of fire from Moeha Street. Credit: Tessa Luna / Hawaii News Now

View of fire from Moeha Street. Credit: Tessa Luna / Hawaii News Now

Waianae Valley fire as seen Monday morning from Leihoku St. Credit: Hawaii News Now

Waianae Valley fire as seen Monday morning from Leihoku St. Credit: Hawaii News Now

Credit: Sam Cragen / Hawaii News Now

Credit: Sam Cragen / Hawaii News Now

On Monday, the Department of Education announced Leihoku Elementary in Waianae and Makaha Elementary would be closed closed for the day, on what was supposed to be the first day of the new school year.

As of late Sunday night, Honolulu fire officials said there was little containment for the two fires — one in Makaha Valley and another in Waianae Valley.

HFD provided an update just before midnight, saying the fire in Makaha, which has spread to 3,000 acres, was only 30 percent contained.

Credit: Adam Peoples / Hawaii News Now

Credit: Adam Peoples / Hawaii News Now

In Waianae Valley, firefighters lost the upper hand, saying the fire was 40 percent contained, down from a previous estimation of 50 percent containment Saturday night. More than 2,000 acres have burned in this fire as it slowly inches down slope."

 

At least five farm-type structures have been destroyed so far, and HFD also reported one minor civilian injury.

One family in the Waianae area says they've lost their home and livelihood in the unrelenting flames.

Maui Brush Fire Scorches 10 acres at Kula Agricultural Park

"Maui firefighters are battling a brush fire in Kula Agriculture Park on Sunday." Credit: Maui Fire Department

"Maui firefighters are battling a brush fire in Kula Agriculture Park on Sunday." Credit: Maui Fire Department

From the Source:

Maui fire officials say that a brush fire on Sunday has scorched 10 acres of land in the area of Pulehu Road near Kula Agriculture Park.

MFD crews responded to the fire at around 2:15 p.m. and arrived to find an active fire in dry brush in the area. Firefighters are having difficulty putting out the fires due to shifting winds, according to officials.

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.

How California's Record Wildfire Season Paved the Way for Catastrophic Mudslides

"Santa Barbara County Fire search dog Reilly looks for people trapped in the debris left by devastating mudslides in Montecito, California." Credit: Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire

"Santa Barbara County Fire search dog Reilly looks for people trapped in the debris left by devastating mudslides in Montecito, California." Credit: Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire

As we keep all those affected by the mudslides and flooding in California in our thoughts, we should note that post-fire flooding can impact islands in the Pacific, as well. The characteristics that lead to these events are similar whether in California or in Hawaii.

From the Source:

"Also called post-fire debris flows, these mudslides form when water rushing down slopes picks up dirt, burnt trees, rocks, and other debris (like cars), reaching speeds of more than 35 miles per hour. “When you mix a lot of mud, water, and boulders, it certainly can be quite catastrophic,” says Dennis Staley, a scientist with the US Geological Survey Landslide Hazards Program. The slurries can start with almost no warning after as little as a third of an inch of rain in just 30 minutes — especially on slopes scorched by fires. After fires blazed across more than half a million acres this fall in California’s worst fire season on record, it’s not hard to find burnt land."

Fire makes slopes more susceptible to mudslides for a few reasons, according to climate scientist Daniel Swain’s Weather West blog. For one thing, flames can strip hillsides of plants that would otherwise anchor the dirt in place. Extreme fires that burn through thick vegetation can also physically change the soil — leaving behind a layer of water-repellant dirt near the surface. That layer acts like a raincoat, slicking off water that can then form mudslides, according to the USGS California Water Science Center.

Plus, without plants to slow the rain before it reaches the dirt, the soil can’t absorb as much water — leaving more to race down hillsides as runoff. Imagine the soil as coffee grounds in a filter: if you pour your boiling water slowly, it will soak into the grounds and drip through into your cup. But if you dump your boiling water all at once, a watery, muddy slurry will overflow. That’s what’s happening on the bare slopes of Southern California right now."

Mudslide and Flood Threat Prompts Evacuations in Burnt Southern California as Major Storm Looms

"A Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy alerts a Kagel Canyon resident of mandatory evacuations on January 8, 2018 in the Creek Fire burn area." Credit: LA County Sheriff's Office

"A Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy alerts a Kagel Canyon resident of mandatory evacuations on January 8, 2018 in the Creek Fire burn area." Credit: LA County Sheriff's Office

Whether in Hawaii or California, post-fire erosion and flooding is a big deal. For example, the 2016 floods in Maui after an explosive fire season created massive plumes of soil, debris, trash, oil, and other pollutants along the shorelines. We are crossing our fingers that the post-fire flood threat in California this week will spare all homes and people in its path and have minimal damage throughout the watersheds.

From the Source:

"The mandatory evacuation order was issued for unincorporated parts of Santa Barbara County, Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria, the county said. Areas along Tecolote Canyon, Eagle Canyon, Dos Pueblos Canyon, Gato Canyon, and Whittier burn areas near Goleta were also included in that order."

“This is the first significant rain the area has had in some time, it’s the first where they’ve had to be concerned about the fire scarred areas of the hills,” he added. Lucksinger said flooding and mudslides were always a concern in the foothills and mountains “when rain comes down quickly in a short amount of time like that.”

Deadly California Wildfire Could Become Largest in State's History

"Firefighters from the Governors Office of Emergency Services monitor the advance of smoke and flames from the Thomas Fire, Dec. 16, 2017 in Montecito, Calif." Credit: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

"Firefighters from the Governors Office of Emergency Services monitor the advance of smoke and flames from the Thomas Fire, Dec. 16, 2017 in Montecito, Calif." Credit: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

From the Source:

"The Thomas fire, which has killed two and destroyed more than a thousand structures in Southern California, could become the largest wildfire in the state’s history as the monster inferno continues to grow.

The Thomas fire has burned steadily since Dec. 4, and authorities say it could take weeks to fully contain. It has reduced at least 1,026 homes and business to ashes and damaged more than 240 others.

It was 45 percent contained as of Sunday evening as about 8,530 firefighters from about 100 different crews battled the blaze. Officials estimated that firefighters won’t achieve full containment until Jan 7."

Every Second Counts! Home Escape Planning Is Critical in a Fire Situation

MFD fire safety presentation. Credit: Lahaina News

MFD fire safety presentation. Credit: Lahaina News

Important tips on evacuation planning from our friends at Maui Fire Department. You can find more tips and evacuation planning templates in the Ready, Set, Go! Wildland Fire Action Guide - Hawaii version.

From the Source: 

"Developing and practicing a home escape plan is like building muscle memory," said Jeffrey Murray, fire chief of the Maui Fire Department.

"That pre-planning is what everyone will draw upon to snap into action and escape as quickly as possible in the event of a fire."

"In support of Fire Prevention Week, all Maui County households are encouraged to develop a plan together and practice it. A home escape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom and near all sleeping areas.

It also includes two ways out of every room - usually a door and a window - with a clear path to an outside meeting place (such as a tree, light pole or mailbox) that's a safe distance from the home."

58 Acres Scorched in Paʻia and Haʻiku Brush Fires

Photo Credit: Anna Kim / Maui Now

Photo Credit: Anna Kim / Maui Now

With very strong trade winds blowing and continuing dry conditions, be on the Wildfire Lookout! and evacuate early. Six homes were evacuated on the makai side of Hana Highway on Maui for a fire that came to within five feet of the homes. 

"Forty-two minutes after the Pāʻia fire was extinguished, crews responded to reports of a brush fire makai-side of Hāna Highway at the Ha‘ikū Road intersection at 6:32 p.m. When Pāʻia crews arrived 10 minutes later, a half acre of land was already scorched.

'Crews had just left the scene of the Pāʻia fire and didn’t even make it back to the station when they responded to the second fire,' Chief Taomoto said."

'When you’re in an open field with nothing going on, you start eliminating the potential igniting sources—structures and power lines, human habitation—and you come up with nothing, so there is the potential human cause and someone fled the scene,' he said.

Chief Taomoto said if the conditions are right and multiple factors line-up perfectly something as simple as a cigarette thrown out of a window could start some of the roadside fires. However, he said it’s suspicious when there are multiple fires within a small area, he used the three small grass fires off the Pali last month as an example."

Amid The Horrors Of Wildfire, A Tale Of Survival And Singed Whiskers

NPR Article_10_17_17_image31-8f82cf86d4515949ba78a675845ff4fe6bd9bcdd-s800-c85.jpg

It has been heavy news, one after another, with the California wildfires alone (not to mention the numerous destructive hurricanes this summer). We thought we'd share this incredible story of survival (of both humans and pets) for a glimpse at the silver-linings that can exist during such tremendous disasters. Added bonus, the story reveals how strategic, controlled grazing can literally save lives!

From the Source:

"What they discovered was both the worst and the best of outcomes. The house was gone, the trucks were gone, everything was ash and gray.

Except for the goats.

All eight of them had survived. Odin did, too, limping, with singed fur and melted whiskers. But his tail still wagged. Hendel thinks he knows what happened."

"As he shuffled through some things — watching objects disintegrate into ash as he poked at them — he heard the noise. It was unmistakable: a bleat that could only come from a goat. There, standing in the drive were Lucy and Ethel, singed and hungry and fine. Somebody, probably the firefighters, had even left them a bowl of water. He has no real idea how they survived, only a theory.

'All I can think is the pasture was just low grass and so the fire couldn't sustain itself there.'"

Portugal Fires: Three Days of National Mourning for Wildfire Victims

"Fires continued into Monday night, despite rainfall in some affected areas." Credit: AFP

"Fires continued into Monday night, despite rainfall in some affected areas." Credit: AFP

As we mourn the losses from the California wildfires, we also send our deepest sympathies to those who have lost loved ones in the Portugal and Spain fires. 

From the Source:

"At least 41 people died after hundreds of fires spread across central and northern areas on Sunday and Monday.

They started in dry conditions and were fanned by strong Atlantic winds from Hurricane Ophelia.

Across the border in Spain, at least four people died in wildfires in the Galicia region.

However, a one-month-old baby who was believed to have died in Portugal's Tabua area has been found alive, the civil protection authorities told the Portuguese press."

"Residents said they had little time to react. 'The fire came at the foot of the village and spread at an incredible rate,' Jose Morais, who lives in Vouzela in the Viseu region, told AFP news agency.

'It felt like the end of the world. Everyone fled.'"