Fire potential all wet; no injuries reported

Kauaians woke up yesterday morning to overcast skies after fireworks lit up the night just hours before to bring in the new year.

On New Year’s Day, Clinton Fujii, Kaua’i Fire Department battalion chief for the day, said that firefighters were not called out to fireworks-related fires Sunday.

However, he pointed out that there were seven small brush fires New Year’s Eve. He explained that the brush fires happened during the day, before it rained on Saturday night.

Hanalei firefighters responded to two brush fires, Kapa’a firefighters were called out to put out four brush fires, and Waimea firefighters responded to one brush fire.

A Wilcox Memorial Hospital source reported that no one with fireworks-related injuries came into the hospital.

Although it rained Saturday night and on Sunday, Kauaians should still be careful and watchful when it comes to fires, Fujii said.

At noon on Sunday, a state Department of Health no-burn policy expired across the island.

Last week, KFD Chief Robert “Bob” Westerman cautioned that it would not take much for a fire to spread rapidly, with current dry conditions even with Saturday and Sunday’s rains.

To prevent brush fires from spreading to homes and other structures, Westerman recommended that residents who live next to open, grassy areas cut the grass to create a buffer zone.

He also urged residents not to start fires to burn weeds, and not to leave matches lying around where children could find them and play with them.

There were a record number of brush fires responded to by KFD firefighters last year, he said.

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