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‘Wildfire Lookout!’ Contest Begins May 6

April 17, 2017, 11:03 AM HST
* Updated April 17, 9:43 AM
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Organizations from across the state have announced a contest to launch the 2017 Wildfire Lookout! campaign, an effort to raise community awareness on wildfire threats and provide information and prevention tips.

The contest invites the public to take preventative steps to protect their homes, families and natural resources against wildfires beginning May 6, 2017, and continuing through the month of May. May 6 is Community Wildfire Preparedness Day across Hawaiʻi and the U.S. The initiative is part of a nationwide effort as wildfire season approaches. 

Hawaiʻi residents are encouraged to do one of the following preventative steps as part of the contest:

  1. Clean up yard or practice a family emergency plan
  2. Participate in a local event organized as part of the Wildfire Lookout! effort
  3. Work with neighbors to do a community wildfire hazard reduction project

Anyone in Hawaiʻi who participates in one of these wildfire prevention efforts is invited to enter the statewide contest by submitting stories and photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #WildfireReadyHI, or by emailing them to [email protected].

Local businesses are sponsoring the contest with prizes, which will be awarded in each of the above categories.

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More information on fire-safe landscaping and home maintenance is available online at hawaiiwildfire.org, as well as current listings of local events and opportunities to join the campaign.

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The Department of Land and Natural Resources’ (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) leads wildfire prevention and suppression on public lands across the state.  

DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said, “We hope this campaign and contest will educate and inform everyone living in and visiting Hawaiʻi about the threat of wildfires. While fires here in Hawaiʻi burn smaller acreages than in much larger western states, the percentage of forest land we lose each year to wildfire, based on Hawaiʻi’s actual land mass, is equal to states like California.”

“Proactive, preventative action is safer and far more effective than doing nothing and relying on suppression, or even worse, trying to recover from the broader, less publicized impacts of wildfire.  Many people are surprised to learn about the long-lasting and serious impacts fire has on Hawaiʻi’s coral reefs, water quality, municipal infrastructure, and more,” says Elizabeth Pickett, executive director of Hawaiʻi Wildfire Management Organization. “It all starts with personal action, and when everyone does their part, that adds up to a safer and healthier Hawaiʻi.”

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