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Fire precautions not widely adopted

An Oct. 18 article in The Maui News stated that Hawaii Wildfire Management’s draft report based on input at the “Vegetative Fuels Management Collaborative Action Planning Workshop” recommends “establishing and maintaining fire and fuel breaks, cleaning around under electrical transformers and under power lines” — management actions, as the writer of an Oct. 26 letter noted, “anyone paying attention is already aware” and “hardly worth front-page news.”

What is front-page news is that Maui hasn’t widely adopted these recommendations and continues to burn month after month. If I were the letter writer, I would instead be asking where our tax dollars are for implementing fuels management across the thousands of acres in Maui which have recently burned.

Having hosted a recent Pacific Fire Exchange fire field trip of the recent Maui burn sites with 25 public and private partners, I can tell you that Maui landowners are under-resourced to implement landscape-level fuels reduction. The desire and willingness to cooperate is there. Perhaps public-private policy and partnerships will finally follow the planning effort.

Melissa Chimera

Honoka’a, Hawaii