(BIVN) – A Community Firewise Forum was hosted by the Waikoloa Village Association Fire Management Action Committee is hosting on Thursday, September 27.
A roundtable of representatives from the Hawaiʻi Fire and Police Departments, U.S. Army-Garrison Pohakuloa, County Civil Defense, Waikoloa Community Emergency Response Team, and Hawaiʻi Wildfire Management Organization shared “lessons learned” from the August fire that burned over 18,000 acres in Waikoloa.
According to the forum organizers:
The recent fire will go down as the 2nd largest in Hawaii’s modern history, falling short of the 25,000 acre fire in 2005 that burned to the very edge of Waikoloa Village, forcing evacuation of 75% of the town’s 6,500 residents. Coincidentally, the 2005 fire was also August 1st, 13 years to date, of our most recent fire.
During the forum, the community discussed “what worked, what did not and what could be improved upon,” and followed up with audience questions and answers. Many attendees said that communication was an issue, stating that they had trouble finding official information as the event unfolded.
Others wanted to talk about the need for a secondary emergency route, in addition to Paniolo Avenue, out of the village in the event of an evacuation.
Organizers say Waikoloa Village has been a nationally-recognized Firewise Community since 2016, one of eight on Hawaii Island.