3/3/2019 #kihei #fire    Image from mauinow.com

How To Prevent Fire And Keep It From Spreading

South Maui residents have been very concerned about fire hazards after the 200-acre brush fire in Wailea January 6 this year and a smaller one later in the month. Fortunately there were no deaths or injuries in either fire, but the first one caused many evacuations. KCA wrote to Maui Electric Company (MECO) and the Maui County Fire Department to ask:

Based on your analysis of the causes of the recent South Maui fires and the difficulty containing them, do you feel nothing more can be done to prevent and limit future fires in the area, and that we should expect more of the same in the future, or are there specific steps that will be taken to make such recurrences less likely and more easily controlled?

Who is responsible for fire roads and fire breaks on the hills above Kihei, Wailea and Makena? If it is up to landowners, have they been contacted to take necessary preventive action? What actions have the owners of Makena Resort and Wailea 670 taken to prevent fires on their respective properties? Does the county have the power to increase fire roads and fire breaks in the area or force private landowners to do so?

We have received a response from the Maui County Department of Fire & Public Safety dated February 20, 2019. Fire Chief David C. Thyne identifies a number of steps that will be taken to work with property owners to assure that firebreaks, fire-resistive construction and other measures will be taken to reduce the threat of future fires. Chief Thyne also points out that time, money and support will be needed for the analysis and implementation. KCA supports allocating County resources to reduce the risk of loss of life, injuries and property damage due to the outbreak of fire.

Chief Thyne’s response follows.