How can we prevent future wildfires?
You’ve probably heard this question quite often since the Maui disaster.
Sadly, the odds are stacking up against us.
Around the Waiʻanae mountains, the fire threat is particularly severe.
- Hawaii's climate is getting hotter and drier in leeward areas.
- Fire season is now year-round.
- Highly flammable invasive grasses and shrubs are rampant.
- The area burned in our islands each year has increased by 300% in the past decade!
One technique that’s proven effective in slowing wildfires is creating green firebreaks, or “GREENBREAKS”—
multi-layered strips of vegetation that resist fire. MLC and members of the Waiʻanae Mountains Watershed Partnership (WMWP) have been working for many years to plant greenbreaks using native species but we have far to go.
Waiʻanae Kai Forest Reserve Greenbreak (photo courtesy of WMWP)
This campaign will ramp up our efforts to teach about greenbreaks and engage more people in growing them in their communities.
1. Establish a network of Leeward school nurseries to grow suitable plants for greenbreaks.
2. Engage Leeward volunteers, landowners, and students in creating demonstration greenbreaks with plants from the school nurseries.
3. Conduct community outreach in Leeward Oʻahu to explain greenbreaks and ways to protect homes, structures, and native forests.
4. Work with partners to create PSAs and videos on wildfire prevention and air it on Outside Hawaiʻi TV.
Students are eager to help grow Greenbreaks!
Mālama Learning Center has applied for grants to launch these actions but we need matching funds of at least $15,000.
Will you help protect O'ahu’s vulnerable Leeward communities?