Maui News

Firebreak in Hanapēpē Installed to Protect 47 DHHL Homes

October 11, 2019, 12:22 PM HST
* Updated October 11, 10:31 AM
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The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands recently completed an extensive landscaping project in Hanapēpē, Kaua‘i that included the installation of a firebreak to protect 47 homes on Hawaiian Home Lands.

Hawaiian Home Land, Hanapēpē, Kauaʻi. PC: DHHL

The firebreak installation, conducted by Kaua‘i Nursery & Landscaping, resulted in the removal of more than 30 abandoned vehicles and roughly 80 tons of trash, including old refrigerators, washing machines, other various appliances, scrap metal, tires and household items.

“We are pleased that DHHL has moved forward with installing this important safety measure,” said Kaua‘i Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief Kilipaki Vaughan. “The overgrowth in the area presented a tremendous fire threat to all of the nearby homes. Creating this strategic firebreak and maintaining its landscape will effectively prevent fires from occurring or spreading, which will ultimately protect the homes and lives of all ‘ohana in the area.”

Affected homesteaders were notified on June 25 and September 5 by mail and through door-to-door efforts of the landscaping work that would be occurring outside of their respective property lines.

“We’re just grateful to the Department for cleaning it up and cutting back all that growth,” said Michael Chandler, who has been on Hawaiian Home Lands in Hanapēpē since 1998. “It was so bad you couldn’t see what was going on back there. Now at least we can see and it looks better.”

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The Department will be installing a protective fence and mowing the grass on a regular schedule to maintain the fire break. For increased safety, DHHL will also be improving an existing drainage ditch.

Hawaiian Home Land, Hanapēpē, Kauaʻi. PC: DHHL

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