Prescribed Fire at Puamana Planned for Certification Requirement
By Maui Now Staff
Firefighters on Maui will conduct a prescribed burn in Puamana in part to satisfy national requirements for certification as a Type 3 Incident Management Team.
“This initial prescribed, or controlled, fire is necessary to develop skills, knowledge, and abilities required to use as a suppression tactic during wildland fire incidents. This tactic will enable firefighters to mitigate wildland fires more efficiently and effectively,” an announcement by fire officials stated.
The prescribed, or controlled burn, is scheduled to take place on Dec. 2 to 6, 2013, between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., above the Honoapiʻilani Highway in Puamana, officials said.
The burn areas will consist of separate blocks, with 1-2 blocks being burned each day, according to the announcement.
Although weather conditions, including relative humidity and wind direction are taken into consideration, nearby residents are advised that they can expect “temporary smoke,” and drivers are asked to “pay extra attention” while traveling through or adjacent to the burn areas.
In addition to meeting certification requirements, fire officials say the burn will also provide personnel with live fire training, and remove hazardous levels of overgrown plant material in the area.
Fire officials say prescribed fires “greatly reduce the potential for wildfire,” by removing “hazardous levels of fuel” on a property.
“The longer vegetation accumulates, the more destructive an eventual fire will be, burning hotter, traveling faster, and having unpredictable results,” officials said in the announcement.
As part of the multi-agency exercise, the Maui Department of Fire and Public Safety will be working in coordination with personnel from the West Maui Land Company and the state Department of Forestry and Wildlife, in consultation with the Hawaiʻi Department of Health and the Maui Police Department. Type 1 Incident Team members from the mainland will also provide assistance during the event.
“The Maui County Department of Fire and Public Safety would like to ensure the public that all foreseeable hazards have been addressed and contingency plans have been developed,” department officials said in the announcement.
“Firefighter and Public Safety are foremost the most important thing, our number one priority as we begin this live fire training,” the announcement said.