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Controlled Fire Planned for Kalama`ula

MFD News Release

Maui County Fire Department (MFD) staff will have a controlled fire in Kalama`ula, Molokai, between Feb. 19 and 23. This controlled, or prescribed, fire is done to satisfy national requirements to be certified as a Type 3 Incident Management Team, provide live fire training to fire personnel, and remove hazardous levels of overgrown plant material.

The MFD and Department of Public Works, in consult with the Hawaii Department of Health, Maui Police Department, and the Department of Hawaiian Homelands, will be working together in a multi-agency effort to conduct this exercise.

The live fire training will be conducted between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., in the area north of the old Kalama`ula area and west of the Kalama`ula Mauka subdivision.  The burn area will consist of 60 acres total, broken down into separate blocks to be burned each day of the exercise.

This prescribed fire is necessary to develop skills, knowledge, and abilities required to use as a suppression tactic during wildland fire incidents. This tactic will enable firefighters to mitigate wildland fires more efficiently and effectively. The Maui Incident Management Team will utilize these training exercises to satisfy national requirements needed to be certified as a Type 3 Incident Management Team. Type 1 Incident Team members from the Mainland will be assisting during this event. Prescribed fire greatly reduces the potential for wildfire. It will remove the hazardous level of fuel on the property. The longer vegetation accumulates, the more destructive an eventual fire will be, burning hotter, traveling faster, and having unpredictable results. Wildfires cause vast economic damages and lead to major inconveniences for the public.

The Maui County Department of Fire and Public Safety would like to ensure the public that all foreseeable hazards have been addressed and contingency plans have been developed. Firefighter and Public Safety are our number one priority as we begin this live fire training. Although weather conditions, including relative humidity and wind direction are taken into consideration, nearby residents should expect temporary smoke in any prescribed fire activity and drivers should pay extra attention while traveling through or adjacent to the burn areas.

 

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