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Fire Danger Leads DLNR to Close All Forest Reserves, Public Hunting and Game Management Areas In the Waianae Range

 

Extremely dry chronic conditions in the Waianae mountain range are leading Department of Land and Natural Resources to close all state forest reserves and public hunting areas at Kuaokala, Mokuleia, Makua Keaau, Waianae Kai, and Nanakuli, and the Kuaokala Game Management Area, effective Monday, September 15, 2003. The closure is under authority of Hawaii Revised Statutes, Chapter 185, Land Fire Protection Law.

"Already several areas within the Waianae Mountain Range, e.g. Keawaula, Mokuleia, Kaena Point, Kuaokala, have been affected by brush fires that have encompassed 3,200 acres," said Peter Young, DLNR Chairperson.

"Most recently, a fire in the Waianae Kai Forest Reserve demonstrated extreme fire behavior never before witnessed in a remote area of the watershed. These incidents reinforce the need for a fire closure until sufficient and sustained rainfall occurs and recovery of the vegetation has taken place."

"We are asking for the publicís understanding, cooperation, and support in protecting the islandís unique environment," said Young.

The closure action is in concurrence with the drought proclamation issued by Governor Lingle on August 20, 2003. The proclamation acknowledges that the State of Hawaii has been in serious drought condition for more than a year and conditions are likely to persist. The prolonged dry period has elevated the fire threat to our wildlands and communities as evidenced by frequent occurrences of wildfires island wide.

Public activities will be suspended until further notice. Forest management and law enforcement activities will continue with emphasis on damage assessments, recovery, and fire patrols.

For more information about the closure of these areas contact the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife - Oahu Branch, 973-9778.

 

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For more information, contact:
Deborah Ward
DLNR Information Specialist
Phone: (808) 587-0320

 

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