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Be Fire Safe: Brush Removal

Community Contributed

By Richard Schonely, Fire Inspector

Recent heavy rains have created new brush growth. Check your house or lot now and take steps to protect your property from fire hazards.

The Department of Fire and Public Safety asks property owners to make sure their land is in compliance with the Uniform Fire Code pertaining to brush as adopted by the County of Maui. Fire personnel will be inspecting parcels yearly throughout Molokai.

Visit the nearest fire station to pick up a brochure on how the parcel should be maintained. You can also visit firewise.org to get tips on making your home safe from a brush fire. Please read the following information and keep in mind that violators can face a fine of up to $1,000.00 for each day the violation exists. This does not include the liability that a property owner may face if his/her parcel is responsible for the spread of a fire.

Those who own, lease or maintaining a structure in or adjoining any hazardous fire area shall:

1.    Maintain an effective fire break around the structure by removing and clearing away, for a distance of not less than 30 feet on each side, all flammable vegetation or other combustible growth.
2.     Maintain additional fire protection or firebreak by removing all brush, flammable vegetation or combustible growth located from 30 feet to 100 feet from such a structure as may be required by the chief if he finds 30 feet is not sufficient.
3.    Maintain any tree adjacent to or overhanging any building free of dead wood.
4.    Maintain the roof of any structure free of leaves, needles or other dead vegetative growth.

Please also keep in mind that electrical transmission lines shall also be kept clear of all vegetative growth. Do not attempt to remove hazardous brush near live electrical equipment without proper training. Contact the responsible utility company for information. Keep 10 feet clearance around telephone and electrical poles, transformers etc. A 10 feet clearance shall also be maintained along all roadways.

Your cooperation is greatly appreciated and your neighbors will thank you. We must prepare for the next brush fire because it’s not a matter of if it happens but when. Are you prepared? Stay fire safe!

Contact Richard Schonely, Fire Inspector with the Department of Fire and Public Safety, with any questions at 553-8491.


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