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‘FireWise’ presentation at Waimea town meeting (March 1)

MEDIA RELEASE

The recent 80-acre fire that caused evacuations in Waikoloa has prompted Waimea Community Association to schedule a FireWise program presentation at its 5:15 p.m., Thursday, March 1 town meeting in Waimea School Cafeteria.

FireWise teaches communities how to adapt to living with wildfire and encourage neighbors to work together to prevent losses. Given the very real danger throughout South Kohala due to the ongoing drought and high winds, WCA President Sherman Warner has invited Denise Laitinen to do a presentation. She will be joined by Fire Capt. John Whitman.

FireWise is a program co-sponsored by the USDA Forest Service, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the National Association of State Foresters. It is premised on the belief that brush, grass or forest fires don’t have to be disasters.

The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Firewise Communities program encourages local solutions for wildfire safety by involving homeowners, community leaders, planners, developers, firefighters, and others in the effort to protect people and property from wildfire risks.

NFPA’s FireWise communities embrace the approach that everyone has a role to play in protecting ourselves and each other from the risk of wildfire.

As always, everyone is welcome to attend WCA Town Meetings and there are no longer membership dues. Instead, voluntary donations are encouraged to support WCA’s activities including an informative community website.

All who attend WCA monthly Town Meetings are asked to help continue the association’s commitment to help Waimea’s food pantries by bringing a donation – preferably cash or a check – or non-perishable food items. Cash or checks are given to the Waimea pantries to purchase foods or gift certificates from Waimea grocery stores and farmers markets so that recipients are able to buy fresh items such as vegetables, fruit and milk as well as other essentials. Checks may be payable directly to a food pantry so the donation is tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.

WCA’s monthly collection drive resulted in the organization contributing more than $3,000 to Annunciation Catholic Church’s Food Pantry for 2011.

Starbucks-Waimea will again contribute hot coffee to the meeting, and WCA officers urge those enjoying it to express their gratitude by making a donation on the spot to the food pantry collection drive.

For further information, call Warner at 885-1725.

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