Big Island residents urged to stay fire safe during long Labor Day weekend
Hawaiʻi County Mayor Mitch Roth is calling upon Big Island residents to prioritize fire safety practices during the long Labor Day weekend to minimize the risk of wildfires. In tandem, County officials are maintaining a state of high alert, with staff available throughout the weekend to address any emerging hazards.
The appeal follows a since-expired red flag warning issued for leeward portions of the island Aug. 31. Despite the warning’s end, persistent weather conditions in leeward areas continue to pose a threat for brush fires.
“We believe in erring on the side of caution,” Roth said. “Recent weather patterns have led to several fires in the past few weeks that could have been prevented with greater awareness. Each fire jeopardizes the safety of our firefighters and, potentially, our residents – a situation we’re committed to avoiding at all costs. Sometimes, it’s the small actions that can make the most significant difference.”
The County discourages campers and others at beach parks from engaging in activities that could result in uncontrollable fires. Furthermore, limiting the use of open flames, fire pits and grills during the weekend should be limited, as embers can easily travel and ignite new fires.
Outdoor activities that could generate sparks, such as welding, metal grinding and grass cutting, should be avoided. The public also is urged not to park vehicles on dry grass after traveling.
Property owners are urged to secure outdoor items and implement essential fire safety measures on their properties. Comprehensive information about wildfire prevention and safety measures can be found on the Hawaiʻi Wildfire Management Organization website.
Adhering to these guidelines can contribute significantly to ensuring a fire-safe weekend.
The County commits to promptly communicating any updates or changes in weather conditions. Safety remains the utmost priority, and the cooperation of the public is indispensable in mitigating the risks associated with fire-prone weather conditions.