One of HWMO's first grant-funded projects, the Waikoloa Community Fuelbreak, was completed in the summer of 2005. Within two weeks, it was already tried and tested. The largest wildfire in the State of Hawaii's recent recorded history (25,000 acres) burned from Waimea's Lalamilo Farmlots all the way to the very boundary of Waikoloa Village. Reluctantly, because of the fuelbreak, firefighters were able to access a previously inaccessible area to fight off the burning front, saving the Village from major damage.

Waikoloa Community Fuelbreak

Location: Northeast, mauka side of Waikoloa Village, Hawaii Island

What it protects: Homes along the Northeast boundary of the Village. As of 2010 census data, over 6,000 residents live in Waikoloa Village in over 2,000 households.

Project Partners: Waikoloa Village Association

NOTE: You can click on the images below to enlarge them.

The fuelbreak was created due largely to a tremendous effort from community members who spent countless hours clearing brush...

...and weeding large tracts of land along the break.

Previously, invasive dry grasses and brush ran right behind homes, a product of years of drought and subsequent wildfires that made it nearly impossible for less fire-prone native species to recover and repopulate the areas. 

Now, a number of homes are protected by a significant buffer from the wildland that is a great threat to the Village due to a huge grass/shrubland that surrounds the Village.  

Here's another photo of the 2005 fire that burned right to the edge of the fuelbreak.