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Molokai Wildfire Protection Plan

Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization News Release

The Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization, 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 on Wednesday, March 18 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Kulana `Oiwi.

Wildfires have great impacts on Molokai residents and natural resources, affecting daily life like road closures, evacuations, post-fire flooding and tax payer dollars. Fires affect human health and safety, such as creating dust and smoke, impacting water quality and resident and firefighter safety. They also affect the ecosystem including watersheds, forests, coral reefs and 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 Molokai 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.

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,” he said. “On Molokai, 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.”

Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization (HWMO), a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting communities and natural resources from wildfire, will facilitate the meetings.  HWMO’s partners include the Molokai Fire Task Force that includes the Fire Department, Police Department, Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife, The Nature Conservancy and many other partners concerned with wildfire. For more info, visit hawaiiwildfire.org.

To find out more about informational meetings or the Community Wildfire Protection Plans for Molokai, contact Ilene Grossman, HWMO CWPP Project Manager, ilene@hawaiiwildfire.org; or Elizabeth Pickett, HWMO Executive Director, elizabeth@hawaiiwildfire.org or (808) 885-0900.

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