Hulu Holoholo

February 2024 Hulu Holoholo:
 
The Waikōloa Village Hulu Evacuation Road was opened for residents to drive down to Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway on Saturday morning, February 17, 2024, 9:00-11:00AM. Upon exiting the road, motorists were directed to turn north (right) onto Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway. Motorists wanting to go south were instructed to turn in at Puako to change directions.
 
The Hulu Holoholo event is intended to familiarize new residents, and those who could not participate in the past, with the location and condition of the now-paved evacuation road. Our goal is to encourage more people to use the Hulu Evacuation Road to balance evacuation traffic between the two exit routes from Waikōloa Village, during an evacuation.
 
You can drive the road virtually here.
 
Please record the time you spend at the Hulu Holoholo event, on the Firewise Reporting Form.
 
This event was sponsored by the County of Hawaiʻi Civil Defense, in cooperation with the Hawaiʻi County Police Department, the Waikōloa Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and the Waikōloa Village Association Firewise Committee.
 
Second Annual Hulu Holoholo:
 
The Waikōloa Village Hulu Evacuation Road was opened for residents to drive down to Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway on Saturday morning, June 17, 2023, 9:00-11:00AM. Upon exiting the road, motorists were directed to turn north (right) onto Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway. Motorists wanting to go south were instructed to turn in at Puako to change directions.
 
The Hulu Holoholo event is intended to familiarize new residents, and those who could not participate last year, with the location and condition of the partially-paved gravel evacuation road. We also want to encourage more people to use the Hulu Evacuation Road to balance evacuation traffic between the two exit routes from Waikōloa Village.
 
Waikōloa Village was in the path of several of the largest fires in the state during the recent past.  Only through the heroic efforts of firefighters from the county, state, military, and volunteer organizations were the fires stopped before reaching the community.  With the warming climate and worsening drought, the wildfire risk will only escalate.  A history of wildfires in our area can be viewed here.
 
During the 2021 Mana Fire evacuation Paniolo Avenue, the only paved road out of the community of 6,549 residents (2020 census), was gridlocked for several hours while the Hulu Evacuation Road at the bottom of Hulu Street was not fully used.  Many people said that they did not know of the existence or location of the road.  Others believed that it was only suitable for “rugged four-wheel drive vehicles”.  In fact, it is a well-maintained road that is easily driven by ordinary passenger cars.
 
You can drive the road virtually here.
 
Much remains to be done to protect our families and homes from wildfires that are predicted to grow in frequency and intensity.  The WVA Firewise committee welcomes more members to join and contribute to our efforts to protect our community.  Additional information can be found on the association website here.
 
Please record your time and money spent on fire protection and prevention to you home and community, including the time you spend at the Hulu Holoholo event, on the Firewise Reporting Form here.
 
The 2nd Annual Hulu Holoholo event is being organized by the Waikōloa Village Association Firewise Committee and the Waikōloa Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) with the support of several County agencies.
 
 
Inaugural Hulu Holoholo:
 
The Waikōloa Village Evacuation Road was opened for residents to drive down to Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway on Saturday morning, June 18, 2022.  The Hulu Holoholo event was intended to familiarize residents with the location and condition of the gravel (paved in sections) emergency exit road.  132 vehicles and 235 people participated.
 
The event was kicked-off with speeches by Julia Alos, Chair of the Waikōloa Community Leadership Council, Hawaiʻi Island Mayor Mitch Roth, Fire Chief Kazuo Todd, Civil Defense Director Talmadge Magno, County Councilmember Tim Richards, Hawaiʻi Wildfire Management Organization Co-Executive Director Elizabeth Pickett, PTA Fire Management Officer Ben Grodjesk, and HPD Lt. Bryan Tina.  Gates were opened following the speeches from 9:15am to noon.
 
Nearly a year ago Mayor Roth said he made one of the most difficult decisions of his career. As the massive Mana Road wildfire was bearing down on the mostly residential village, Roth called for its evacuation.
 
“With every adversity, there’s a greater or equal opportunity,” Roth said.  During the evacuation it became clear that many people were not familiar with an evacuation road that is intended to provide an efficient and organized flow of traffic during a wildfire or other evacuation situations.
 
Speaking of the Mana fire, Chief Todd said, “it’s not going to be the last fire . . . the fuel is going to grow back on the wet years and then on the dry years weʻre going to have another fire.”
 
Waikōloa Village was in the path of several of the largest fires in the state during the recent past.  Only through the heroic efforts of firefighters from the county, state, military, and volunteer organizations were the fires stopped before reaching the community.  With the warming climate and worsening drought, the wildfire risk will only escalate.  A history of wildfires in our area can be viewed here.
 
During the 2021 Mana Fire evacuation Paniolo Avenue, the only paved road out of the community of 6,549 residents (2020 census), was gridlocked for several hours while the Evacuation Road at the bottom of Hulu Street was not fully used.  Many people said that they did not know of the existence or location of the road.  Others believed that it was only suitable for “rugged four-wheel drive vehicles”.  In fact, it is a well-maintained road that is easily driven by ordinary passenger cars.
 
The Hulu Holoholo event was intended to familiarize residents with the road and to encourage more people to use the Hulu Evacuation Road to balance evacuation traffic between the two exit routes from Waikōloa Village.
 
The Hulu Holoholo event was planned and executed by the Waikōloa Village Association Firewise Committee, part of a network of community Firewise committees operating under the guidance of the Hawaiʻi Wildfire Management Organization, with support from CERT and other community volunteers.
 
If you were unable to attend, an online video of the event highlights has been produced and made available to the public by Dan Dennison, DLNR.
 
You can also drive the road virtually here.
 
Much remains to be done to protect our families and homes from wildfires that are predicted to grow in frequency and intensity.  The WVA Firewise committee welcomes more members to join and contribute to our efforts to protect our community.  Additional information can be found on the association website here.
 
Please record your time and money spent on fire protection and prevention to you home and community, including the time you spend at the Hulu Holoholo event, on the Firewise Reporting Form here.
 
                                                        

Waikōloa Village Association

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