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Jack Minassian Pacific Island Fire Management Officer Claudette Moreno Pacific Island Fire Program Asst. Wildland Fires in the Hawaiian Rainforest. Introduction.

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Presentation Transcript
slide1
Jack Minassian

Pacific Island Fire Management Officer

Claudette Moreno

Pacific Island Fire Program Asst.

Wildland Fires in the Hawaiian Rainforest
introduction
Introduction
  • Fire Management Plan states we will suppress all wildland fires regardless of ignition source to protect the public, natural, cultural and historic resources of the Park.
  • On May 16, 2002 lava ignited a wildland fire in the rainforest of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
  • First time since 1916 we had a wildland fire in a closed canopy rainforest during a normal rainfall year
management objectives
Management Objectives
  • Firefighter and Visitor Safety
  • Protection of the Rainforest by minimizing fire spread from volcanic ignition
  • Manage the fire cost-effectively for the values at risk
wildland fires
Wildland Fires
  • Kupukupu Fire, 3407 acres, 5/16 -10/1/02
  • Mau Loa Fire, 100 acres, 8/1 - 9/25/02
  • Lepo Ahi Fire, 86 acres, 11/7 - 12/31/02
  • Panau Iki Fire, 2019 acres, 1/2 - 5/11/03
  • Luhi Fire, 4930 acres, 5/12 - 9/3/03
facts
Facts
  • Fire Activity started on May 16, 2002 and ended September 3, 2003 (15.5 months)
  • 457 Personnel from the mainland
  • 5.1 million in suppression costs
  • 10,542 acres burned
  • 4212 Helicopter Hours
lava flow for 20 yrs
Details about this topic

Supporting information and examples

How it relates to your audience

Lava Flow for 20 yrs.
real life
Real Life
  • Give an example or real life anecdote
  • Sympathize with the audience’s situation if appropriate
why did we have these fires now
Why Did We Have these Fires Now?
  • They came about when several factors all came into alignment
  • The two most influential parameters affecting fire behavior are Wind and RH
  • Thresholds were when winds exceeded 10 mph at eye level and RH drops below 60%
kupukupu fire
Kupukupu Fire
  • May 16, 2002 - October 1, 2002
  • 3407 acres
  • Combination of winds and RH
  • Winds were in excess of 20 mph.
  • RH was below 50%
panau iki fire
Panau Iki Fire
  • January 2, 2003 - May 11, 2003
  • 2019 acres
  • Winds were 50 mph for 48 hrs.
luhi fire
Luhi Fire
  • May 12, 2003 - September 3, 2003
  • 4930 acres
  • No wind
  • RH was 7%
so why fires now
Details about this topic

Supporting information and examples

How it relates to your audience

So Why Fires Now?
suppression issues
Suppression Issues
  • Building line to mineral soil was marginally effective.
  • Burning out was effective in some areas.
  • Due to the remoteness, there were days when we could not take suppression actions due to weather and/or Vog.
  • High winds, changing cloud cover, etc.
  • Helicopter Availability
what was successful
What Was Successful
  • We were able to control the headfires within 48 hrs.
  • Combination
  • Line construction.
  • Burn out.
  • Mop-up hot spots.
think outside the box
Think Outside the Box
  • Dozers
  • Fireline Explosives
  • Weedeaters
  • Leaf blowers
issues
Issues
  • We could not set up a fire camp
  • The topography, fuels, and weather are different
  • Some personnel from the mainland had a hard time adapting, understanding and underestimating the complexity
  • Accurate Weather Forecast
  • Transportation
safety
Safety
  • 15.5 months
  • 457 personnel from the mainland
  • One Knee Injury
  • One person with twig up the right nostril
  • Animal Bite
  • Coming over sick
  • Coral cuts, etc.
  • Vog
impacts
Impacts
  • Fire Management Staff morale
  • Normal Fire Operations
  • Other Park Operations
  • Park Visitors were only slightly impacted
lessons learned
Lessons Learned
  • We had a learning curve on developing fire suppression techniques in the Rainforest
  • We had to rethink that our Rainforest was not fireproof
  • Expanded Dispatch
  • Ordering Manager from North Zone
conclusion
Conclusion
  • Mission Possible
  • The Park with assistance from the fire community has made a heroic effort to protect the rainforest
  • The resources protected cannot be measured in dollars
  • Witnessing the evolution of the Hawaiian Islands