Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023 |
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The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued a red flag warning for the leeward areas of all Hawaiian Islands, which is in effect until 6 p.m. today, but could be extended.
The previously issued fire weather watch is no longer in effect.
A red flag warning was issued because the combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and dry fuels can contribute to extreme fire behavior. Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly.
A red flag warning does not predict new fire starts.
NWS said it is important to note that the winds for this event will not be comparable in strength to the Aug. 8 event that fueled the deadly Maui fires, where wind gusts of over 60 mph were observed.
The leeward areas are forecast to experience trade winds 15 mph to 30 mph, with gusts of 40 mph to 50 mph. The strongest wind gusts will be downwind of higher terrain.
Humidity will drop to 35% to 45% today.
The red flag warning covers all leeward areas of Hawaii Island, from North Kohala to Ka‘u.
“We’re asking our residents to protect each other by being cautious and remaining mindful in their actions,” Mayor Mitch Roth said in a statement. “Last time we had similar conditions, multiple fires sprung up along our leeward coast. These fires can potentially put our firefighters and communities at large in harm’s way.
“By remaining mindful and refraining from potentially risky behaviors, we can significantly reduce the chances of large brushfires this time around.”
In response to the red flag warning, the following measures are now in effect:
• All camping permits for today within the affected county beach parks are canceled. This includes Mahukona, Spencer, Kohanaiki, Punalu‘u and Whittington beach parks.
• Open flames, fire pits and grills on county property are strictly prohibited until further notice.
• Individuals are strongly advised to avoid outdoor activities involving open flames, such as outdoor cooking, welding and grinding metal during this period.
• Avoid parking vehicles on dry grass after travel to prevent potential fire hazards.
• Property owners and residents are urged to secure outdoor items and implement necessary fire safety precautions on their premises.
Residents are also encouraged to visit the Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization’s website at hawaiiwildfire.org for valuable information on wildfire prevention and safety measures.
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