Drought conditions fueling brush fire potential

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Parts of Hawaii are still suffering from drought conditions, and that lack of rain means much of the state’s green landscape has dried out.

“It is usually seen during the summer, but it’s coming up sooner in the late winter and spring season where we are seeing the potential for more fires,” said HFD spokesperson Capt. David Jenkins.

A few months ago, Diamond Head was covered in green vegetation, but now that has all disappeared.

In fact just a few weeks ago firefighters were busy trying to put out a brushfire on the side of the crater.

Weeks before, a huge brush fire in Nanakuli burned more than 2,500 acres.

“There are all kinds of factors involved with wildland fires with the terrain, the topography, the wind speed and the water content of the fuel or vegetation,” said Jenkins.

So how can you prepare?

Fire officials say if you live in an area near lots of dry grass you should create a 30-foot safety zone around your home.

You should make sure to remove leaves or other combustibles that could help the fire spread.

Also, make sure your family has an evacuation plan in case you have to leave your home.

“Just a few weeks of dry season or very dry weather can bring water content down on the vegetation and could bring your home into harms way,” said Jenkins.

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