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The state is urging residents to prepare for wildfires ahead of the dry summer

As summer approaches, heat and dry weather conditions make areas of Hawaii more vulnerable to wildfires.

For this reason, the state is working on firefighting measures such as: Such as grass management, installing more remote weather stations for monitoring and asking residents to be alert to actions that could start fires.

According to the Hawaiʻi Wildfire Management Organization, more than 98% of Hawaii's wildfires are caused by humans.

James Barros, administrator of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, said he is working with community partners to educate communities about fire preparedness.

“The threat of wildfires is common in all of our communities, but our strongest defense lies in our unity. “Through nationwide collaboration, preparedness, response and mitigation, we can address the threat of wildfires,” he said.

“It has to be a Kākou effort. Our state authorities. They have their kuleana and play a critical role in preparing our state for future challenges.”

The Honolulu Department of Emergency Management is also urging families to prepare a travel bag with essentials such as important documents and underwear that they can quickly take with them if they need to evacuate their homes.

“Usually a backpack works best and contains only the essentials needed to survive the first few days,” said Hiro Toiya, department head of HI-EMA.

“This can really improve your quality of life immediately after an emergency,” he said.

The state Department of Transportation said it is working with federal partners to review and open additional emergency evacuation routes in the event of a disaster.

Anna Harden

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