Posted on Jun 4, 2024 in Main, News Releases, slider, Wildfire


Governor Green Proclaims June as Wildfire & Drought LOOKOUT! Month

Click on photo to view press conference video

(KĪHEI, MAUI) – Citing the comprehensive public information campaign to raise awareness about wildfire, drought, and water conservation, Governor Josh Green, M.D., today proclaimed June as Wildfire & Drought LOOKOUT! month in Hawai‘i.

The annual media kickoff for the campaign was hosted at Fire Station 14 on Maui, this morning. Now in its eighth year, the initiative is designed to provide vital information and to equip people with the knowledge and tools necessary to prepare for and respond to the threats posed by wildfire and drought.

Conceived by the DLNR and the Hawai‘i Wildfire Management Organization (HWMO), Wildfire & Drought LOOKOUT! is a collaborative effort which includes all state and county firefighting agencies and this year members of the Hawai‘i Drought Council.

“It is a natural fit for water conservation messaging to be included in our wildfire and drought awareness efforts, as water conservation is an important factor when we face drought conditions,” said Elizabeth Pickett, HWMO Co-Executive Director.

The severe drought conditions noted by the U.S. Drought Monitor earlier this year have lessened, with only Hawai‘i Island and Maui now having pockets of “abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions.”

National Weather Service Forecaster Derek Wroe explained, “Dryer conditions are predicted over the next few months, and drought is expected to redevelop over all islands. As drought expands you will notice vegetation drying out, and the NWS urges everyone to be aware of forecasts for windy and dry conditions that lead to high fire danger.”

Maui Fire Assistant Chief Jeffrey Giesea added, “Wildfires have occurred or have the potential to occur on every one of the inhabited Hawaiian Islands, in both windward and leeward areas. Drought conditions, like the ones forecast over the coming months, make this more likely and potentially dangerous.” He said wildfires are different than other natural hazard events, in that they can be prevented and lessened with proactive actions by government, landowners, and individual residents.

The western part of the state has received ample precipitation over the past month and is experiencing what firefighters call, “a green up.” Mike Walker, state protection forester with the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) told reporters today, “While the green up on Moloka‘i, Lana‘i, O‘ahu, and Kaua‘i, is prolonging the beginning of the summer/fall dry season, it is adding additional fuel on the landscape. Once those areas dry out, it leads to higher fire danger later in the summer.”

On Maui, the Department of Water Supply (DWS) reports moderate- to severe drought conditions in South Maui, and Upcountry reservoir levels have declined over the last week. DWS Deputy Director James “Kimo” Landgraf remarked, “We still have a Stage 1 water shortage in West Maui and upcountry. These systems are extra vulnerable to drought because they rely on surface water supply to a large extent, which is more directly impacted from the lack of rainfall.”

DWS and sister agencies across the state are participating in the Wildfire & Drought LOOKOUT! campaign. Maui DWS is kicking off its “Don’t Waste a Drop,” summer conservation messaging, this week.

Pickett, of HWMO, concluded, “We want our islands to be wildfire-ready, wildfire-safe, and water conservation-minded. It’s going to take all of us to get there. Dozens of agencies and organizations involved in wildfire, drought, and water conservation are contributing materials and tips to our web page. This is where media, partners in this effort, and anyone can access information, graphics, and videos. We’re encouraging everyone to visit the page often for updates and news materials.” (see link below).

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(All images/video courtesy: DLNR)

HD video – Wildfire & Drought LOOKOUT! news conference (June 4, 2024):


(speakers opening remarks)


HD video – Wildfire & Drought LOOKOUT! news conference (Zoom):


HD video – Mililani Mauka wildfire (Nov. 2, 2023):



Photographs – Wildfire & Drought LOOKOUT! news conference (June 4, 2024):



Photographs – Mililani Mauka wildfire (Nov. 2, 2023):



Wildfire & Drought LOOKOUT! web page:



Media Contact:

Dan Dennison

Communications Director

[email protected]