(BIVN) – The County of Hawaiʻi issued a Public Service Announcement on Wednesday, ahead of what is expected to be a dry holiday season, as far as continued drought conditions go.
The most recent U.S. Drought Monitor map shows that while drought conditions have eased across the Island of Hawaiʻi, most of the island remains Abnormally Dry, with Moderate Drought in the area of South Kohala.
From the County of Hawaiʻi:
Hawaiʻi County officials have issued a Public Service Announcement (PSA) to encourage responsible celebration during the upcoming New Year festivities, as Hawaiʻi Island continues to grapple with persistent drought conditions around the island. The dry conditions are conducive to brushfires starting, spreading rapidly, and endangering Hawaiʻi Island communities.
Mayor Mitch Roth and County officials emphasize the importance of prioritizing safety and responsible firework use to prevent accidents that could lead to dangerous wildfires.
“We are once again relying on our residents to do their part in keeping our community safe,” said Mayor Mitch Roth. “Even though some parts of our island have been wet, other parts have seen sustained dryness that is of significant cause for concern. Our hope is that all of us make it to the new year without incident while enjoying invaluable time with our friends, families, and loved ones.”
The Firework Safety PSA, created in concert with the Hawaiʻi County Fire Department, Hawaiʻi Police Department, and the Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense Agency, provides essential guidelines for residents to follow during their New Year celebrations.
Key firework safety points include:
Use Approved Fireworks Only: Purchase and use only fireworks that local authorities have approved. Ensure they bear the appropriate safety labels acquired from licensed vendors.
Designated Areas Only: Limit firework use to designated areas approved for such activities. Avoid open fields, dry grass, and areas prone to catching fire.
Adult Supervision: Children should never handle fireworks; adult supervision is always essential. Keep a safe distance from the ignition site.
Fire Safety Measures: Have fire safety equipment, such as a water hose or bucket, readily available. Be prepared to extinguish any sparks or embers immediately.
Dispose of Properly: Ensure proper disposal of used fireworks after the celebration. Soak them in water before placing them in a non-combustible container.
The PSA also notes that the Hawaiʻi Police Department will actively patrol this New Year’s Eve to ensure responsible celebrations and prioritize community safety. They are ready to enforce the law whenever necessary and are reminding the public that the combination of drinking, driving, and drugs will not be tolerated.
Hawaiʻi County officials would also like to remind residents that dry conditions may lead to tighter islandwide firework restrictions, and residents are asked to follow County guidance for a safer celebration.
The County remains committed to the health and safety of the Hawaiʻi Island community and would like to wish its residents a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season spent with loved ones.