APA Hawaii Lunch Talk: Wildfire Resilience in Hawaii
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APA Hawaii Lunch Talk: Wildfire Resilience in Hawaii

When: Monday, March 2, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Where: AIA Honolulu Center for Architecture
828 Fort Street Mall
Suite 100
Honolulu, Hawaii  96813
United States
Contact: AIA Honolulu

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American Planning Association

Hawaii Chapter


Hawai‘i Wildfire Management Organization will discuss planners' role in wildfire resilience as Hawai‘i faces increased fire and drought


Nani Baretto, Co-Executive Director

Elizabeth Pickett, Co-Executive Director

Hawai‘i Wildfire Management Organization


Hawaiʻi has a devastating wildfire problem. The average area burned per year in Hawaiʻi has increased 17 times over the past century. Wildfires destroy irreplaceable natural resources, damage economic and municipal infrastructure, and threaten lives, homes, and human health. Planning ahead and integrating mitigation measures into development practices is a key function of creating a more resilient community — one that can withstand even the worst wildfires. Investment in the long-term preparedness and safety of a community long before a disaster is the most cost-effective way to reduce community risk and exposure to natural hazards like wildfire. Planners play a vital role in ensuring safety in this new context of rapidly increasing wildfire danger. This presentation will provide an introduction to wildfire behavior and the planning elements that can be considered and incorporated in order to create safer communities from the start. Solutions such as ingress/egress, access, water resources, and defensible space will be discussed, as well as an overview of wildfire characteristics in Hawai‘i.


About the Presenters:

Nani Baretto is Co-Executive Director of Hawai‘i Wildfire Management Organization. Nani focuses her time both on the health and vibrancy of the organization itself and on several community wildfire resiliency projects. She earned a Masters of Health Science degree from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the Department of Health, Behavior, and Society in 2006 and a Bachelors degree in Neuroscience & Behavioral Biology from Emory University in 2000.

Elizabeth Pickett is Co-Executive Director of Hawai‘i Wildfire Management Organization, where she began in 2008 implementing wildfire mitigation, planning, and education projects throughout Hawai‘i. She is Vice President of the Big Island Wildfire Coordinating Group and co-founded the Pacific Fire Exchange project to develop and connect fire and land management science and practice. She earned a Masters of Environmental Science degree from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a Bachelors Degree from University of California, Berkeley.


  • The cost is $10 for APA/APA-HI and AIA members; $20 for non-members; and free for students. The AIA Honolulu conference room accommodates up to 50 people, so please sign up early to guarantee a seat. You may bring in outside food to the presentation. Please note that food will not be served otherwise. Also, validated parking will not be provided.
  • Neighbor Islands and Out-of-State Participants: If you are interested in attending this event remotely (not on O‘ahu), please register online and then notify us at least 48 hours before the event with your confirmation number at apahi.program@gmail.com. Following your RSVP, we will send details to connect via GoToMeeting.
  • Maui APA Members: Come join your fellow planners to watch the presentation in person at the County of Maui Planning Department's Conference Room. If you are a Maui APA member interested in joining, please RSVP to Jennifer Maydan (Jennifer.Maydan@mauicounty.gov) prior to the event, which will be set up at: One Maui Plaza Building, 2200 Main Street, Suite 601, Wailuku, HI 96793
  • AICP Members: This event will be submitted to APA for CM credits (1.0 credit). After attending the event, you should be able to register the CM credits.

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