Hawaii is no stranger to its residents experiencing close calls with wildfires. In recent years, large fires have occurred in North and South Kohala, North and South Kona, and Ka‘u. Of note, the Waikoloa Fires of 2005 and 2007 would have engulfed the town of Waikoloa Village had first responders not been able to defend the village along its recently completed firebreaks. Every family, resident, and large landowner can avoid the danger and impacts of wildfire with adequate preparation.
Unlike other natural hazards, wildfire is unique in that there are many things you can do ahead of time to reduce your risk of losing property or loved ones. Residents can take charge by strategically reducing vegetation around homes, fire-proofing homes and structures with non-combustible materials, and creating and practicing a thorough family emergency plan.
Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization (HWMO), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Waimea, will be hosting a series of free community wildfire preparedness workshops in some of the most fire-prone areas of the Big Island. Those who attend will learn about Hawaii’s wildfire issues and how they can mitigate those issues through proper home landscaping techniques and home structure modifications. They will also learn about how to develop a clear and achievable family emergency plan, what actions to take during a wildfire, and proper evacuation procedures.
July 21 — Ocean View Community Center, 92-8924 Leilani Circle
July 23 — Waikoloa Community Association Community Room, 68-1792 Melia St.
July 25 — Cooper Center, 19-4030 Wright Road, Volcano
July 28 — Pahala Elementary School, 96-3150 Pikake Place
July 29 — Thelma Parker Memorial Library, 67-1209 Mamalahoa Highway, Waimea
July 3 1 — Civic Center Liquor Control Conference Room, 2nd Floor of Building B, 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Kona
Aug. 4 — Konawaena Elementary School, 81-901 Onouli Road
Aug. 6 — Hawaii Community College West Hawaii Campus, 81-964 Halekiai St.
Each workshop is 6-7 p.m.
For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or (808) 885-0900. Visit hawaiiwildfire.org.