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Western State Fire Managers Meeting

  • Mauna Kea State Park Puako, HI (map)

Presented By: Western State Fire Managers; Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife Fire

Based on great feedback from a collaborative lessons learned PFX Field Tour held on June 25, 2013 at Mauna Kea State Park on Hawaii Island to review a 2011 fire that exhibited extreme behavior and threatened human lives and critical habitat, Wayne Ching of Hawaii Department of Land Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife Fire decided to replicate the experience and discussion with Western State Fire Managers at their March meeting. To highlight PFX's growing strength in partnerships, Susan Cordell, who has conducted numerous fire-related ecological studies in the area presented her findings about post-fire changes in soil and potential wind removal of nutrients that may be limiting regeneration of native plants. This is the type of cross-pollination and knowledge exchange that PFX encourages and will continue to facilitate whenever possible.

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The tour continued over to the Puako Community Fuelbreak where Peter Hackstedde, Puako Community Association President and a new addition to the Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization Board of Directors spoke about the fuelbreak efforts. Elizabeth Pickett, Executive Director of Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization, chimed in about HWMO's funding and assistance of the project. She also detailed the HWMO and PFX organizations as a whole and their strong partnership with one another. In addition, Elizabeth presented the newly created and delivered Ready, Set, Go! Hawaii Wildland Fire Action Guides and handed out copies to all of the managers, along with Overview Packets for HWMO and PFX. The group then took a driving tour through most of the fuelbreak, which runs 3 miles and borders along the entire Puako community, providing a buffer of at least 60-100 feet between houses and the mesquite (kiawe) forest.