HANAPEPE — The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands recently completed an extensive landscaping project in Hanapepe that included the installation of a firebreak to protect 47 homes on a DHHL parcel.
The firebreak installation, conducted by Kauai Nursery & Landscaping, resulted in the removal of over 30 abandoned vehicles and roughly 80 tons of trash that included refrigerators, washing machines, other various appliances, scrap metal, tires and household items.
“We are pleased that DHHL has moved forward with installing this important safety measure,” said Kauai Fire Department Deputy Chief Kilipaki Vaughan.
“The overgrowth in the area presented a tremendous fire threat to all of the nearby homes,” Vaughan said.
“Creating this strategic firebreak and maintaining its landscape will effectively prevent fires from occurring or spreading, which will ultimately protect the homes and lives of all ohana in the area.”
Affected homesteaders were notified by mail and door-to-door efforts of the landscaping work that would be occurring outside of their respective property lines.
“We’re just grateful to the department for cleaning it up and cutting back all that growth,” said Michael Chandler, who has been on a DHHL parcel since 1998. “It was so bad you couldn’t see what was going on back there. Now at least we can see, and it looks better.”
The department will be installing a protective fence and mowing the grass on a regular schedule to maintain the fire break. For increased safety, DHHL will also be improving an existing drainage ditch.