HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaii residents are likely to see more brush fires heading into the hot summer months and drought worsens.
Experts say this was an interesting wet season. In the beginning, there was a lot of rain in a short period of time. Also, after January the trade winds kicked in and stayed till the end of the wet season.
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National Weather Service Honolulu Forecast office meteorologist Derek Wroe said, “It provides rainfall for the windward areas but it starves rainfall on the leeward side. So that’s how we got into the drought that we are in now.”
With predictions of less rainfall than usual this means the dry season is expected to extend until September or October, and a dry season comes with a greater possibility of wildfires.
The Honolulu Fire Department shared tips on how to prevent wildfires.
If you’re grilling this summer “try avoid using woods like kiawe and mesquite. They throw embers from your grill and could possibly start a brush fire or a house fire.”
“I have been to a brush fire that was started by a backfire from a car, and so these things do happen, if you do ride dirt bikes make sure your dirt bikes are in very good working order.”Carl Otsuka, Honolulu Fire Dept. Fire Inspector
They also said to clear your gutters of debris.
State Wildland Fire Manager Mike Walker said these precautions are not only for the community, but are for the environment as well. Walker said fires could seriously damage or the reef and “Unlike a lot of other parts of the world, our native ecosystems here when they burn, particularly our forests, they don’t regenerate.”
There are 15 firewise communities across the state, including Kalama valley in Hawaii kai.
Matt Glei, a Kamilonui Valley resident, said being firewise means “that we know about our potential risk and actively do things to lower those risks.”
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On Saturday, June 11, they are holding an annual workday to clear an area that leans up against houses in the community in Hawaii Kai. Click here for more information on Firewise communities.