KAHULUI - Maui County Fire Chief Jeffrey Murray and Wayne F. Ching, fire management officer for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources' Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DLNR-DOFAW), last week Thursday signed into action West Maui's first Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) at the Fire Prevention Bureau Office in Wailuku.
Anna Foust, emergency management officer for the Maui County Civil Defense Agency, will also be a signatory but was not present at the event.
The West Maui Fire Task Force worked in partnership with the Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization to develop the West Maui plan.
Surrounded by community partners, Jeffrey Murray and Wayne F. Ching (seated, left to right), sign West Maui’s first Community Wildfire Protection Plan. PHOTO COURTESY OF KIMBERLEY MULLEN, MFD.
Collaborators of the CWPP within the West Maui Fire Task Force include DLNR-DOFAW and DLNR's Division of Aquatic Resources; Maui Fire Department; Maui County Department of Public Works, Planning Department and GIS Division; West Maui Mountains Watershed Partnership; Ridge to Reef Initiative; Pu'u Kukui Preserve (Maui Land and Pineapple Company); Maui County Mayor's Office; and Maui Land and Development Company.
CWPPs have become a prerequisite for receiving federal funding for wildfire protection projects. The plan assists a community in identifying and prioritizing areas for hazardous fuel reduction treatments and supports communities to take action.
The plan assesses values at risk, such as safety, natural resource protection, recreation, scenic values and economic assets.
Through a collaborative process involving input from community members, resource management and firefighting agencies, CWPPs help bring wildfire hazard information, planning and action opportunities to all parties.
This plan will allow communities around Wailuku, Waikapu, Lahaina, Napili, Honokohau, Kahakuloa and Waihee to apply for federal funding for wildfire prevention and preparedness activities, such as public outreach and education, vegetation (fuels) management and wildfire suppression training.
"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," explained Chief Murray.
Visit www.hawaiiwildfire.org for information.