By Wendy Osher
Starting today, the community of West Maui will be included in a Community Wildfire Protection Plan.
Officials from the Maui Department of Fire and Public Safety, the Maui Civil Defense agency, and State Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife will sign the agreement during a ceremony today.
The plan is a tool used as a prerequisite for receiving federal funding for wildfire protection projects. It also assists the community in identifying and prioritizing areas for vegetation management, public outreach, and fire suppression training.
Areas covered by the Western Maui Community Wildfire Protection Plan include Wailuku, Waikapū, Lahaina, Nāpili, Honokōhau, Kahakuloa, and Waihe‘e.
The plan was developed in partnership between the West Maui Fire Task Force and the nonprofit Hawaiʻi Wildfire Management Organization. Collaborators within the West Maui Fire Task Force include: the state Department of Land and Natural Resources – Division of Forestry and Wildlife and Division of Aquatic Resources; the Maui Department of Fire and Public Safety, the Maui County Department of Public Works, the Maui Planning Department and GIS Division, the West Maui Mountains Watershed Partnership, the Ridge to Reef Initiative, Maui Pineapple Company’s Pu‘u Kukui Preserve, the Maui County Mayor’s Office, and Maui Land and Development Company.
In developing the plan, six community meetings were held where the public, agencies, and other interested parties provided input relating to wildfire concerns, recommended actions, and projects to prevent and prepare the region for wildfires.
“Many communities are developing disaster plans or long-range community plans, and the CWPP is meant to complement those plans,” said Maui Fire Chief Jeffrey Murray. “It will be a useful tool for community members to help make West Maui’s neighborhoods and natural areas fire-safe,” he said.
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