MILILANI-MAUKA, Hawaii (KHON2) — The trade winds are back and the National Weather Service said that is good news for central Oahu residents who have been in a smoky situation since Monday, Oct. 30.
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“You get this turbulent mixing and thinking that that turbulent mixing is going to help prevent what we’ve seen the last couple of days,” said NWS meteorologist Tom Birchard. “Still, Mililani-Mauka, Mililani, Waipio and some of the communities west of there, those areas should see less dense smoke but probably still see periods of smoke over the next couple of days untili the fire gets extinguished.
Keith Tamashiro of the Mililani Mauka-Launani Valley Neighborhood Board said ash fell over his home for days. Tamashiro and his wife hunkered down for most of the week.
“But even as far as Wahiawa her sister called, who has respiratory issues, saying, ‘Hey, you know, I had to close the windows, turn on the air conditioner,” Tamashiro said.
Tamashiro pointed out that Meheula Parkway is the main roadway in and out of Mililani-Mauka — there are connecting side streets but there is also definite concern over evacuating if conditions got bad enough.
“Obviously if you could put more infrastructure or roads, but that’s costly,” Tamashiro said.
Honolulu Fire Department officials said it is working with the Army, Air National Guard, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of Land and Natural Resources to battle the blaze. Tamashiro said the community would appreciate some coordinated communication.
“And some sort of joint media announcement, especially those that wear the uniform,” Tamashiro said. “If they see the uniform on TV, being that there’s a lot of retirees, veterans in MIlilani-Mauka, it really adds to that surety that it’s being taken care of.”
Forecasters said it is not time for outdoor cookouts or campfires with Red Flag Warning conditions expected on Sunday, Nov. 5 through Monday, Nov. 6.
“Don’t partake in those activities, even hot exhaust mufflers, hot vehicles can spark dry grass, too,” Birchard said, “be mindful as far as not even doing any burning and being mindful of any activities that might start a fire.”