HONOLULU (KHON2) — There are at least 22 federally listed native species that are found in the area of the Mililani Mauka fire.
The fire is burning near the Oahu Forest National Wildlife Refuge home to endangered native tree snails and plants and threatened bird species including the apapane and amakihi. The forest is also an important watershed that feeds into the Pearl Harbor aquifer, where a majority of Oahu gets its fresh water.
“Once this forest gets burned, the land will be more degraded, and it might be taken over by invasive species,” said Kristina Chyn, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service deputy project leader. “And invasive species are a lot less capable of replenishing our watershed and aquifers. So we love our native forests for aquifers as well.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is providing support for fighting the fire in an effort to protect the forest.
A total of 55 more firefighting personnel are arriving today and tomorrow from the neighbor islands and the mainland.
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KHON2 News is monitoring the latest updates on the blaze from the Honolulu Fire Department, click here to read the full story.