HWMO, in collaboration with the Molokai Fire Task Force will hold community input meetings to help develop a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) for Molokai.
The meeting will be held at the following location and time:
Wed, March 18, 5:00 – 7:00 pm Kulana ʻOiwi
Wildfires have great impacts on Molokaʻi residents and natural resources, affecting:
- Daily life (road closures, traffic, evacuations, post-fire flooding, tax payer dollars)
- Human health and safety (dust, smoke, water quality, burned homes and structures, resident and firefighter safety)
- Ecosystem health and resilience (watersheds, forests, coral reefs, fisheries)
Community input is critical to the CWPP process in determining priority wildfire concerns, needs, and action steps to better prepare and protect fire-prone areas from wildfires. The CWPP update meetings will identify and prioritize projects to reduce the threat of wildfire to Molokaʻi communities. All full-time and part-time residents in these areas are encouraged to attend.
CWPPs are a great planning tool for communities and have become a prerequisite in order to receive federal funding for wildfire protection projects. A CWPP assists a community in identifying and prioritizing areas for hazardous fuel reduction treatments, and supports communities to take action. The plan assesses values at risk such as safety, natural resource protection, recreation, scenic values, and economic issues. CWPPs are a collaborative effort with input from community members, firefighting agencies, and related organizations. These plans are becoming increasingly important in Hawaii. They bring wildfire hazard information and planning/action opportunities to all who are affected, making it possible to more effectively address wildfire. As drought episodes increase and land use continues to change, working at all levels to mitigate wildfire is becoming essential.
Lance De Silva, Forest Management Supervisor with DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife, points out that a CWPP isn’t just another federal study. “A CWPP is a community-based ‘roots’ process to outline wildfire risks to a community and to catalyze projects that can reduce those risks. In Molokaʻi, we need to reduce our risks from mauka to makai. This is an important opportunity for communities to have a say over the priorities in the plan and to seek funds for the wildfire mitigation projects that residents themselves identify. Invest your time to protect your investments.”
Maui County Fire Chief Jeffrey Murray explains, “The number one defense against the effects of a wildfire to your community is prevention. The Maui Fire Department stands ready to respond to the needs of our community. This includes responding through prevention and collaborative efforts to reduce the threat of wildfires to your community. We are a proud team member with the Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization, and your community, in providing you with information and assistance in the sustainability of your community through fire prevention efforts.”
“CWPPs are meant to tie into existing or planned projects,” says Elizabeth Pickett, Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization Executive Director. “Many communities are developing disaster plans or long-range community plans, and the CWPP is meant to complement those plans. It will be a useful tool for community members to help make Molokaʻi’s neighborhoods and natural areas fire-safe. Wildfires tie into many natural resource, municipal, and community issues, so this is an important opportunity for communities to learn, have their voices heard, and get involved.”
Banner photo: Post-fire runoff visible from the sky above Molokai.