A recent brush fire that blackened 4,500 acres in the northwest region of the Big Island and subsequent flooding amount to a teachable moment, the Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization believes.
The nonprofit organization dedicated to wildfire prevention produced a video to teach people about the impacts of fires on natural resources.
The Kawaihae wildfire burned dangerously close to homes and local businesses, forcing evacuations and road closures. A week later, the community was hit with heavy rainfall, causing murky stormwater to run through Kawaihae’s streets into the ocean.
Because acres of vegetation burned in the fire, large amounts of fine, loose ash and soil were swept from mauka to makai when heavy rainfall hit the area. Soil and debris from the flood has littered popular fishing areas and family gathering places, such as Kawaihae Harbor. The silt that was swept to sea is also detrimental to coral reefs.
The video used footage from the recent events to show how residents can prevent future wildfires, and to demonstrate their harmful effects on Hawaii’s coastline.
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