Hot Off the Press!
We have just received 10,000 copies (that's 40 extremely heavy boxes) of the first ever Hawaii version of the Ready, Set, Go! Wildland Fire Action Guide.
We encourage every household and landowner/manager in the state of Hawaii to get a hold of the guide.
In this Action Guide, we hope to provide tips and tools you need to prepare for a wildland fire threat (Ready), have situational awareness when a fire starts (Set), and to act early (Go!).
Contact us if you would like copies to distribute to your friends, family members, neighbors, or anyone else you can think of. We are also able to hold Ready, Set, Go! workshops upon request. Stay tuned for updates on upcoming workshops and events where we will be handing out the guides. Or, come by our office in Waimea (Kamuela) where we have boxes full of the guides!
Mahalo to IAFC for spearheading the collaboration and arranging for the massive print-job!
Wildfire Prep Day
Stay Hot on our
HWMO Booth Event
Mauka to Makai Festival
A Watershed Stewardship Celebration
When: April 26, 2014, 2-6p
Where: Keokea Beach Park, Kapaau
HWMO Community Event
Wildfire Preparedness Day 2014
Waikoloa Dryland Safety Park
Fire Awareness and Work Day
When: May 3, 2014, 9a-3p
Where: Waikoloa Dryland Safety Park, Waikoloa
Plant Ecology & Response to Grazing
When: May 15, 2014
Presenter: Dr. John Hendrickson, ARS Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory
Sponsor: Targeted Grazing Committee of the Society for Range Management
Hawai'i Conservation Conference
When: July 15-17, 2014
Where: Hawai'i Convention Center, Honolulu
CNH Forest Fire Council Training & Seminar 4/9-4/11/14
The Big Island's Waikoloa Beach Marriott played host to this year's California - Nevada - Hawaii Forest Fire Council Training and Seminar (April 9-11), drawing attendees from all over the three listed states and from the Pacific Islands. HWMO and PFX teamed up to set up a booth to disseminate information about Hawaii's wildfire issues and what's being done to mitigate them - as a highlight, PFX's first Fact Sheet was rolled out at the event: Wildfire in Hawaii (link). Day One kept the audience captivated with a variety of informative and exciting talks spanning the world over. Attendees were informed about the latest Australian bushfires (Richard Woods), East Bay Regional Park District's WUI projects (Brad Gallup), Maui Fire Department's IMT3 activities (Henry Lindo, Jr.), and the International ICS program operating in Indonesia, Vietnam, and a variety of other countries (Rusty Witwer). Paul Steensland and Alan Carlson brought the attendees along an exciting two-hour long ride through a twenty-year investigation and hunt for the Rumsey Canyon Serial Arsonist. Preceding these great presentations, Wayne Ching, Division of Forestry and Wildlife's long-standing and soon-to-retire Fire Management Officer, as well as organizer of this year's event, was honored by those in attendance. DOFAW's Protection Foresters from each main island, Patrick Porter (Kauai), Jay Hatayama (Hawaii Island), Ryan Peralta (Oahu), and Lance De Silva (Maui) led a few morning toasts to Wayne and his remarkable career. To cap off the tribute, all attendees simultaneously revealed red shirts with a picture of Mr. Ching and a list of major incidents he had worked on in his career, either wearing or waving the shirt in a sort of Red Shirt Salute. Click to read more.
Earth and Ocean Festival 4/12/14
HWMO and PFX hit the road for the Earth & Ocean Festival, which took place this year at the Makaeo Pavilion within the Old Kona Airport Park. The outreach event drew large crowds of people, many of whom stopped by the HWMO/PFX booth (over 120) to find out more about wildfires in Hawaii. Visitors of all ages payed close attention as Pablo Beimler, Education and Outreach Coordinator of HWMO and Coordination Assistant of PFX, explained Hawaii's wildfire issues and what HWMO and PFX are doing to address and mitigate those issues. Beimler handed out over 50 of the new Ready, Set, Go Hawaii Wildland Fire Action Guides among other HWMO products. He also distributed a couple dozen of PFX's first Fact Sheets about Wildfire in Hawaii, authored by Clay Trauernicht (Co-coordinator of PFX and Wildfire Extension Specialist at UH Manoa, CTAHR). The keiki came to the booth in droves until there weren't any more Smokey magnets, frisbees, and bag clips to give out.
Western State Fire Managers Meeting - Puako Community Fuelbreak Tour 3/19/14
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. 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.
Hawaii Community College (HCC) Career & Job Fair 3/17/14
HWMO and PFX spent the day in Hilo at the Hawaii Community College reaching out to the academic community about our wildfire efforts and the opportunities that exist in the wildfire and conservation realms. We were delighted to interact with a demographic that we aren't always able to target: college-aged students. Visitors were excited to learn about Hawaii's wildfire issues and what HWMO and PFX are doing to mitigate them. Many were interested in what job opportunities exist not just for HWMO and PFX, but in the wildfire and conservation world, as well. Interested students ranged from Agricultural Studies to Environmental Sciences to Fire Science. We also made valuable connections with UH faculty and staff members and Kamehameha Schools Career Academy, who were interested in partnering with HWMO and PFX to create job and internship opportunities for their students, and the Department of Health who was interested in connecting with HWMO for a Hawaii-specific Ready, Set, Go workshop tour. Stay tuned for job and internship opportunity postings and for our next booth event!
Field Tour of Leeward Wildfire Projects and Fire Prone Areas with Alex Friend (USFS PSW) 3/7/14
Through the Pacific Fire Exchange (PFX), Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization’s (HWMO) Elizabeth Pickett and Pablo Beimler and U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Institute for Pacific Islands Forestry’s (USFS PSW IPIF) Christian Giardina facilitated a field tour of leeward wildfire mitigation projects and fire-prone sites for the Station Director of the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station, Alex Friend. The group first visited HWMO’s Waikoloa Dryland Wildfire Safety Park, Hawaii’s only Firewise demo garden, located at the end of Melia St. in Waikoloa Village. The park demonstrates how to reduce the impacts of wildfires through defensible space landscaping and fire-resistant building materials. The garden primarily consists of low-maintenance, native Hawaiian species that are resistant to drought, wind, and heat. Pickett and Beimler led the site visitors through the freshly-weeded garden (HWMO had held a Community Work Morning that day), explaining all of the hard work that HWMO and its partners and community members have put into the project. The hard work had payed off, judging by the plethora of new blossoms emerging on many of the native dryland plants (including ‘Ihi, ‘Ilima papa, Pohinahina, and ‘Ulei). The garden has made a positive impact for the community by not only adding aesthetic value to the neighborhood, but also providing a learning space for Firewise principles that residents can directly apply to their own homes. HWMO is planning on further site visits, including for the upcoming CNH Seminar Forest Fire Seminar and Training on April 9th-11th, and holding a Wildfire Awareness, Prevention, and Work Day event for the first National Wildfire Prevention Day on May 3rd...(Click for rest of article)
Waikoloa Garden Community Work Morning 3/7/14
Sparked by enthusiastic, willing-to-work community members from Waikoloa Village, we held a work morning at our Waikoloa Dryland Wildfire Safety Park at the end of Melia Pl. The most recent rain events have spurred our native plants to run wild and even blossom, creating a dynamic ecosystem that mirrors that of the Waikoloa Dry Forest Preserve. Native plants such as 'Ihi, 'Ilima papa, 'Ulei, and Pohinahina are in full bloom and are definitely worth checking out. These native, drought-tolerant plants are not only worth planting for their beauty, but can also provide a living fuelbreak around your home. Where and when there is rain, however, there is other not so desirable growth. Community members have taken note of recent weedy arrivals and asked if they could help remove them. We could always use the help and gladly responded by holding a Community Work Morning. Our team of volunteers received some pointers on which weeds to pull out, as some of the "weeds" were actually native to Hawaii. During such hard work, we were all still able to share stories about wildfires experienced in Hawaii and the mainland. Monte Anglin, one of the volunteers and a resident near the garden explained what the Waikoloa Dryland Wildfire Safety Park means to him: “It is really great to see some native plants and growth be developed and maintained anywhere in the state, but especially here in the dry area of Waikoloa. It’s just amazing. And the people that did the concept and tore out the old, messy, ugly stuff that was here a couple of years ago really need to be commended for the foresight and the energy to come forth and do this. I really appreciate it.”
Nahelehele Dryland Forest Symposium Poster Session 2/21/14
Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization and Pacific Fire Exchange partnered up to present a poster about Hawaii's wildfire problem at this year's Nahelehele Dryland Forest Symposium. A couple hundred people from a variety of different organizations involved in various degrees of conservation work attended the event, many of whom stopped by to visit our poster. Clay Trauernicht (UH Co-op Extension and PFX), Pablo Beimler (HWMO and PFX), and Ilene Grossman (HWMO) spoke to visitors about the many projects HWMO and PFX are involved in and how those projects are helping mitigate Hawaii's wildfire problem. One of the highlight's of the booth was the presentation of the most recent fire history maps, printed out on a large poster board. At one point, a retired HFD firefighter stopped by and interacted with the poster by sharing stories and lessons learned about specific points on the map. By teaming up for this year's Dryland Forest Symposium, PFX and HWMO are continuing to forge a stronger partnership in order to amplify our outreach efforts.
BIWCG Meeting 2/13/14
The Big Island Wildfire Coordinating Group (BIWCG) met for its quarterly meeting at the DOFAW office in Hilo. Members represented the following agencies: DOFAW, USFWS, HCC, HFD, NPS, Firewise Hawaii, HWMO, and PFX. Wayne Ching (DOFAW), lead organizer of this year's CNH Spring event kicked off the meeting with an update on the upcoming event's proceedings and logistics. Clay Trauernicht of PFX then gave a review of the recent Hawaii Wildfire Risk Assessment organized by Ching a few weeks ago. The risk assessment was developed for the 17 western-most states (including Hawaii and Alaska) using a variety of inputs such as fuel models, topography and historical ignition points. Clay emphasized that the most striking message from the assessment was that Hawaii showed the largest amount of burnable acres out of all 17 states. Such striking data and maps will be useful in conveying the severity of Hawaii's wildfire issue to community members, land managers, first responders, and decision-makers. The PFX team also presented the group with a rough draft of Trauernicht's Hawaii Wildfire Problem Statement in newsletter-type form along with a variety of new templates for upcoming PFX fact sheets. BIWCG members were enthusiastic and appreciative to see the work done by PFX and HWMO, which could not have been done without partner support. Elizabeth Pickett of PFX and HWMO and Clay Trauernicht of PFX and UH Co-op Extension were then invited to represent their respective agencies at the State Fire Council meeting to present the problem statement to the group.
Brushfire South of Punaluu Beach Under Control 4/23/14
"County firefighters this morning continued to extinguish hot spots in a brush fire that blackened about 12 acres near Punaluu Beach Tuesday night. Firefighters arriving at the scene at 6:03 p.m. Tuesday found a fire with a 75-foot front moving through brush and trees along the shoreline just south of the beach. The fire was being driven by east-northeasterly winds of 25-35 mph, said fire Capt. Curt Yamashita of the Pahala Fire Station. It took about two hours of efforts by personnel from the Pahala station and volunteer firefighters to get the fire under control. Vehicles with off-road capabilities were used to suppress the head of the fire while other equipment was utilized to secure the roadway separating the shore from the SeaMountain Golf Course, and to keep the fire from the Colony One condominiums further mauka. The cause of the fire was unknown, Yamashita said." - Big Island Now
Wildfire Preparedness Day 2014 at Waikoloa Dryland Wildfire Safety Park
Thank you to the Waikoloa Breeze for highlighting our upcoming event: Wildfire Preparedness Day 2014 at the Waikoloa Dryland Wildfire Safety Park at the end of Melia St. in Waikoloa!
Firefighters Battle Brush Fire in Wahiawa 3/24/14
"Honolulu firefighters are battling a brush fire in Wahiawa in the mountains above Helemano. Officials say the fire first sparked on state property last week, two-and-a-half miles past the end of the road at Helemano Military Reservation. Officials say the fire, which is currently an acre in size, is still smoldering. City and federal firefighters and the Division of Forestry and Wildlife will work until dusk to put it out." - KHON2
HWMO's 5 Tips for Upcoming Fire Season 3/1/14
Check out our latest PSA regarding how you can prepare for the upcoming fire season, courtesy of the Waikoloa Breeze. "There’s no prettier time to be living in Hawaii with the recent powdery snowfall on Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa and the hills becoming greener and greener each passing day. However, through our fire prevention lenses, there’s no better time to be mindful of the buildup of flammable vegetation that will pose a significant fire threat in the upcoming fire season. Here are five things to do around your home to reduce wildfire risk: - Limb your trees to within at least 6 feet off the ground to reduce “ladder fuels.” - Remove leaf litter and other debris that accumulate around the building, under vegetation, in gutters, and other collection areas. - Weed around the property regularly, especially areas that a lawn mower is not appropriate for (tall dry grasses, rocky terrain, etc.) - Remove flammable materials from underneath the house, decks, porches, and lanai. - Plant native, drought-tolerant plants around your home. By doing so, you can beautify your property while also protecting your home from wildfire ignition and spread, perpetuating an important natural and cultural resource, and requiring less maintenance. For examples of plants we recommend, you can visit our garden at the end of Melia St. " - Waikoloa Breeze
Hapuna Gets Beach Clean Up Station 3/1/14
Our young, enthusiastic Waikoloa Garden care-takers and fire experts from Ocean Warriors (Malama Kai Foundation) help install Beach Clean Up Stations at Hapuna Beach State Park. Mahalo for your hard work! "The wooden boxes contain heavy foil coffee bags, typically tossed by coffee shops but repurposed as garbage bags for beach users to pick up and fill with refuse. Pictures, drawn by area students, decorate the outside. Each station costs about $300 to make and install, Iglehart said.Maintaining the boxes, particularly replenishing the stock of coffee bags, is a task that will fall to volunteers. Several groups of volunteers have already stepped up, Iglehart said, including the Malama Kai Foundation’s Ocean Warriors project, which designed and built the boxes, collected the coffee bags, designed and printed informational signs and created the artwork to decorate the boxes. The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel has been saving coffee bags for about a year to donate to the project, Iglehart said. Several other community groups and some high school students in South Kohala have expressed interest in helping restock the boxes, she added. 'It has been such a fun and rewarding opportunity for the Ocean Warriors students to be involved in a project that highlights their involvement in marine protection and their artwork, and also provides important information to members of their own community about how most marine debris begins as beach litter — something we can do our part to help,' Malama Kai Foundation’s Elizabeth Pickett said in an email." ” - West Hawaii Today
My Job: Battling Invasive Species in Hawaii 3/1/14
System planner for the Hawaii Natural Area Reserves System, Emma Yuen, mentions wildfire as one of the biggest challenges that Hawaii faces. "Biggest Challenge: The environment is often underfunded and there is enormous pressure from invasive species and wildfire in Hawaii." "Quote: Hawaii’s forests are not only beautiful and important for tourism, but they are critical for stopping erosion and retaining our water supply, economic benefits that a lot of people don’t know about.” - Hawaii Business
Public Input Sought for West Maui Community Wildfire Protection Plan 1/16/14
The buzz for the West Maui Community Wildfire Protection Plan community meetings this month keeps building! "Lance De Silva, Maui forest management supervisor with the state Department of Land & Natural Resources' Division of Forestry and Wildlife, emphasized that a CWPP isn't just another federal study. 'A CWPP is a community-based 'roots' process to outline wildfire risks to a community and to catalyze projects that can reduce those risks. In West Maui, we need to reduce our risks from mauka to makai. This is an important opportunity for communities to have a say over the priorities in the plan and to seek funds for the wildfire mitigation projects that residents themselves identify. Invest your time to protect your investments.' Elizabeth Pickett, Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization executive director, said 'CWPPs are meant to tie into existing or planned projects. Many communities are developing disaster plans or long-range community plans, and the CWPP is meant to complement those plans. 'It will be a useful tool for community members to help make West Maui's neighborhoods and natural areas fire-safe. Wildfires tie into many natural resource, municipal and community issues, so this is an important opportunity for communities to learn, have their voices heard and get involved.'" - Lahaina News
Killing with Kindness 12/31/13
A nice example of a large landowner in Oahu taking charge and being a steward of his own land by reviving native or noninvasive plants and, in turn, animals: "Already, these three and various other volunteers seem to be making a difference: there are signs of hope in the forest. In meadows thinned of invasive trees and shrubs, new shoots of indigenous koa trees are sprouting, along with the flowering mountain naupaka and the palaa fern. The bright yellow kookoolau, a flower found only in Hawaii, is flourishing here, too... Still, Mr. Zweng worries about his own mortality and how many years he has left to work in the forest. He dreams of the day the land is restored enough that he might see a bright red apapane or an orange-and-red iiwi, native birds that haven’t been in evidence in the valley for years. Because in all likelihood, he said, the true verdict on his work will come not from environmentalists or the community, but from nature: 'Nature will tell us we’ve made a difference.'"" - New York Times
Pebre #FuerzaValpo 4/16/14
A wildfire doesn't just affect the communities that have lost their homes and livelihoods, it affects the whole region at large. There are always ways to help - here's how one group of people made a significant impact by feeding those in need. Even if you don't understand Spanish, you can still understand the message of selflessness from the video.
Why Homes are Lost to Wildfire: This Forest Service Expert Says it's as Much a Sociopolitical Problem as it is Physical 4/4/14
Very interesting interview with the founder of the Firewise Communities Certification Program. Although some of the content doesn't quite apply to Hawaii, there are many lessons learned to gain from it. "Wildland fires are inevitable. And without homeowner engagement, without their participation in mitigating the problem, firefighters can't be effective. It's continuing a problem to have my own agency, federal agencies in general, and most fire departments in this country that deal with wildland fire issues, not be telling people that by and large, under the conditions that destroy lots of houses, we can't deal with this without your participation. It's about taking responsibility for the condition of your house, before the fire, because nobody else can. And it's not just the material that the house is made of, it's the condition that lends itself to potential ignition. It's a big maintenance issue too… You don't have to eliminate fire from your property completely, but you have to keep flames from contacting your structure and you have to keep firebrands from having high ignition potential when they land on your house - because they will. Which means all of the fine fuels need to be gone from on and immediately around your house before fire season even starts. All flammable things need to be swept away from your house at least about five feet. The grass needs to be mowed immediately around the structure, but you don' t have to mow an acre. You don't have to cut all the trees down, you just have to make sure they're not contacting each other, and they're not continuous with the wildland. Make sure fire on the surface can't easily burn up the tree and torch out, because that creates firebrands close to the house. I highly encourage hardwoods around the structure as a shield, they just don't support high-intensity fire, and can become a very, very good radiation barrier." - High Country News
Wildfires in West Increasing Burn Areas At Nearly One Denver Per Year, Study Finds 4/21/14
"Just as wildfire season is getting off to a heated start, a new study has found that in the last 30 years in the western United States, both the number of fires and the area that they burn have increased. The study, published by the American Geophysical Union, looked at the 17-state region stretching from Nebraska to California. It found that wildfires over 1,000 acres in size increased by about seven fires a year from 1984 to 2011. It also found that the amount of area these fires burned increased each year at about 140 square miles, or 90,000 acres, per year — an area about the size of Las Vegas and nearly the size of Denver. The researchers assert that these trends are likely due to climate change and associated shifts in rain patterns and temperature norms, rather than local factors. The study does not directly link the findings to human-caused climate change, but it says the observations fit well with the predictions of climate models for the region. “We looked at the probability that increases of this magnitude could be random, and in each case it was less than one percent,” Philip Dennison, an associate professor of geography at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and lead author of the paper, said in a statement. This is the first study to utilize high-resolution satellite data to look at wildfire trends across a variety of landscapes and ecoregions, according to the researchers. They used nine ecoregions, including forested mountains, deserts, and grasslands, and found that the rise in fire activity was strongest in areas like the Rocky Mountains, the southwest desert, and the southern plains in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. According to Dennison, these are the same regions that would be expected to experience more fire activity due to climate change." - Climate Progress
Wildfires Rage in Chile (VIDEO) 4/14/14
"At least 16 people are dead from wildfires burning around the coastal town of Valparaiso, Chile. Strong winds have fanned the flames, making it difficult for firefighters to stop the blaze from spreading to over 2,000 acres of steep terrain. Homes are mostly wood, often built on hillsides with narrow access roads and no fire hydrants. The fires have so far destroyed roughly 2,000 homes, and displaced at least 10,000 people. Until the burning is controlled, local officials expect those numbers will continue to rise." - Time
Fire Destroys 2,000 Houses in Valparaiso (PHOTOS) 4/14/14
Stunning and quite chilling photos from the recent Valparaiso fires in Chile. From the Source: "In the port city of Valparaiso, Chile, a massive fire started late Saturday. Fueled by strong winds, flames swept across hilly residential areas, destroying more than 2,000 houses and killing at least 12. Firefighters battled the blaze throughout the weekend and are still extinguishing isolated hot spots. Today, some Valparaiso residents are being allowed to return to their homes to assess the damage, recover what they can, and plan their next steps." - The Atlantic
Blaze in Chilean Port City Kills 12, Destroys 2,000 Homes 4/13/14
"At least 12 people have been killed by a massive blaze in Chile's port city of Valparaiso famous for its UNESCO-listed historic center, authorities confirmed Monday. Chilean police said 12 people have been confirmed dead, 500 injured and more than 10,000 people evacuated. Pushed by strong Pacific coast winds, the fire rampaged over 741 acres of hilly residential neighborhoods — destroying at least 500 homes. The cause of the fire, which began in woodland near the city late on Saturday, was being investigated. Over 2,000 homes were destroyed in the city of 250,000 over the weekend. Valparaiso’s rolling hills and closely spaced houses, many of them made of wood, make it difficult to fight the flames. The city, part gritty port town and part bohemian retreat, has a large number of people living in poverty." - Al Jazeera America
VIDEO: Navy and Guam Fire Department Partner to Extinguish Weekend Grass Fire 4/7/14
Wildfires continue to ravage Guam, further exposing the need to ramp up prevention and mitigation efforts there. From the Source: "Navy Sailors and civilian firefighters partnered with the Guam Fire Department to extinguish a grassfire that affected approximately 20 acres of land on Nimitz Hill April 5-6. Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25 deployed a MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter that conducted five daytime and five nighttime water drops while three U.S. Naval Base Guam (NBG) Fire and Emergency Services (FES) crews fought the fire on the ground alongside Guam Fire Department counterparts. 'The dedication and professionalism of the pilots and crew of HSC-25 attest to the Navy’s commitment to preserve life and property,' said Joint Region Marianas Chief of Staff Capt. Mark Scovill. 'The day and night trainings they consistently conduct around the island prepare the crew to respond to emergencies such as the recent grassfires.' Continuous training proved beneficial to the community as the blaze was extinguished preventing evacuation of nearby residents and damage to structures." - Pacific News Center
USDA Officially Announces Sign-Up Date for Farmer and Rancher Disaster Assistance Programs Sign-Up Begins April 15 for Livestock, Honeybee, Fruit Grower Programs 4/7/14
If you are a livestock producer, honeybee keeper, or fruit grower who has suffered grazing losses due to wildfire or other weather-related disasters on publicly managed land, you may qualify for these new Farmer and Rancher Disaster Assistance Programs: From the Source: "The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that farmers and ranchers can sign-up for disaster assistance programs, reestablished and strengthened by the 2014 Farm Bill, beginning Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Quick implementation of the programs has been a top priority for USDA. 'These programs will provide long-awaited disaster relief for many livestock producers who have endured significant financial hardship from weather-related disasters while the programs were expired and awaiting Congressional action," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. ʻPresident Obama and I prioritized the implementation of these disaster assistance programs now that the Farm Bill has restored and strengthened them...' ...The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) will provide payments to eligible producers for livestock deaths and grazing losses that have occurred since the expiration of the livestock disaster assistance programs in 2011, and including calendar years 2012, 2013, and 2014. Enrollment also begins on April 15 for producers with losses covered by the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) and the Tree Assistance Program (TAP)." - USDA
Hunters Suspected in Talofofo Fire: Smoke From Inarajan Blaze Shuts School 4/3/14
Brush and grass fires are becoming more and more frequent not just in Hawaii but also throughout the Pacific. Case and point, firefighters in Guam have responded to 70 grass fires in March alone! We are excited to be a part of Pacific Fire Exchangeʻs upcoming projects in Guam (and Palau and Yap) to address their wildfire issues and what can be done to mitigate them. From the Source: "Officials with the Guam Fire Department believe a fire that burned private land near Talofofo Falls Resort Park may have been started intentionally. Firefighters battled that blaze and a separate fire in Inarajan yesterday afternoon. The Inarajan fire burned a small area of land down the hill from Inarajan Middle School, prompting an evacuation of the campus… Local and federal fire officials have called on residents for help in minimizing grass fires. Artero has said residents shouldn't burn trash at their homes. Guam's fire hazard rating currently is in critical and is expected to remain at that level for at least a few more months. In March, firefighters responded to more than 70 grass fires. Fire officials noted their belief that at least a few of those fires also were started by people." - Guam PDN