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By News Release @ 2:46 AM :: 1472 Views :: Maui County, Hawaii State Government

GOVERNOR GREEN, TOP OFFICIALS EMPHASIZE WILDFIRE PREPARATION, UPDATE MITIGATION EFFORTS

News Release from Office of the Governor, May 10, 2024

HONOLULU – Governor Josh Green, M.D., today led a cohort of state and county officials gathered to call all of Hawaiʻi to action, to take steps to prevent wildfires, to keep their homes as fire-safe as possible, and to prepare for quick evacuation, if needed. 

More than 98% of Hawaʻi wildfires are human-caused, according to the nonprofit Hawaiʻi Wildfire Management Organization (HWMO). Given the upcoming wildfire season, the Governor and his administration are taking proactive steps to ensure the safety and preparedness of the people of our state. Governor Green highlighted the importance of wildfire mitigation efforts, and high-level administration officials provided valuable information on how residents can reduce their risk of wildfire damage.

“That more than 98 percent of our wildfires are human-caused is a shocking call to action, to each of us as people. We need to do better and we can do better. My administration is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of our communities the whole year-round, though wildfire season gives us an opportunity to pay special attention to this particular risk – and raise awareness to the steps each of us can take, alongside government efforts, to keep our neighbors and ourselves safe.” 

“True disaster preparedness involves lifelong learning, as best practices are improved in part, from lessons learned in previous disasters,” said HI-EMA Administrator James Barros. “Most of our wildfires are preventable and each of us can take steps to keep them from starting. For all other types of disasters, we continue to update our mitigation, preparedness, action and recovery plans for Hawaiʻi.”  

Governor Green’s Administration has:

  • Approved 40 Remote Automatic Weather Stations (RAWS) for deployment around the islands
  • Begun installation, with federal partners, of a total of 80 fire-detection sensors with 24-hour alerting capabilities
  • Continued collaboration with federal partners, nonprofit organizations and local communities for future resilience
  • Revamped siren protocols in conjunction with the counties
  • Reestablished a state Fire Marshal

Individual state departments including the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation and Department of Land and Natural Resources also are acting to mitigate fire risks and facilitate evacuation routes in collaboration with federal and county partners.

A proclamation was signed and presented to the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA), the Department of Land and Natural Resources and its Division of Forestry and Wildlife, and the HWMO. The proclamation spotlights the importance of wildfire mitigation and risk-reduction preparedness, and underscores the government’s commitment to safeguarding the state of Hawaiʻi.

As part of the month-long observance, HI-EMA, state and county partners and HWMO, will be launching a fire mitigation campaign and will be posting valuable information and initiatives on its website at www.ready.hawaii.gov

Similarly, to learn more about how you can protect your family, home, yard, and lands, visit the HWMO website at hawaiiwildfire.org.

Residents can look up their community’s wildfire risk here.

View the news conference with all the speakers’ remarks and updates.

The slide deck presented by Governor Green, courtesy Office of the Governor, is here.

Photos from today’s news conference are here.

# # # 

HTH: Wildfire prevention a ‘kakou effort’: Green talks hazard mitigation, Maui recovery

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