(BIVN) – The National Weather Service has replaced the Fire Weather Watch for the leeward areas of Hawaiʻi with a Red Flag Warning, which will be in effect from late Sunday morning through Monday afternoon.
Forecasters say “strong trade winds and low relative humidity will combine with dry fuels to bring the potential for critical fire weather conditions” during this time.
The National Weather Service shared these recommended precautionary actions:
- Outdoor burning is not recommended.
- Heat from vehicle exhaust systems can ignite dry grass. Park cars on areas that are paved or where vegetation is trimmed and cleared.
- High winds contribute to wildfire hazard. Delay activities that could throw off sparks until the wind dies down.
- A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly.
Hawaiʻi County’s Emergency Operation Center will be activated throughout the duration of the event, officials say.
“We’re asking our residents to protect each other by being cautious and remaining mindful in their actions,” said Mayor Mitch Roth. “We’ve seen these conditions lead to multiple fires along our leeward coast in the past, and we want to ensure we do all we can to prevent them to the best of our ability. These fires can potentially put our firefighters and communities at large in harm’s way. By remaining mindful and refraining from potentially risky behaviors, we can significantly reduce the chances of large brushfires this time around.”
A Hawaiʻi County news release, issued before the Fire Weather Watch was replaced by the Red Flag Warning, stated:
Potential Camping Permit Cancellation: All camping permits for Sunday within the affected Beach Parks have the potential to be canceled. This includes Mahukona Beach Park, Spencer Beach Park, Kohanaiki Beach Park, Hoʻokena Beach Park, Punaluʻu Beach Park, and Whittington Beach Park. Campers will be notified promptly if conditions are conducive to cancellation.
Prohibition of Outdoor Burning: All outdoor burning will be strictly prohibited in North Kohala, South Kohala, North Kona, South Kona, and Kaʻū from 12 a.m. on Sunday, November 5, 2023, through 6 a.m. on Tuesday, November 7, 2023.
Prohibition of Outdoor Open Flame Activities: Outdoor activities involving open flames, such as outdoor cooking, welding, and grinding metal, will be prohibited from 12 a.m. on Sunday, November 5, 2023, through 6 a.m. on Tuesday, November 7, 2023.
Vehicle Parking Prohibition: Parking vehicles on dry grass after travel is prohibited prohibited from 12 a.m. on Sunday, November 5, 2023, through 6 a.m. on Tuesday, November 7, 2023.
Property Fire Safety Measures: Property owners are urged to secure outdoor items and implement necessary fire safety precautions on their premises.