Drought conditions return for all of Hawaii - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Drought conditions return for all of Hawaii

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Every county in the state is now back under some level of drought conditions and looking at forecasts it could stay that way for awhile.

Firefighters were busy with wildfires in Hawaii Kai, Kapolei and Wahiawa this week alone. Fortunately there was no serious damage but dry conditions are getting drier.

"For leeward areas it's dry anyway but we're talking about drier than the usual dry," said Kevin Kodama, National Weather Service Senior Hydrologist.

Big Island ranchers continue to supplement feed as fields aren't producing food. Crops are also starting to show signs of stress from the drought conditions.

And Upcountry Maui is back on a voluntary 10 percent water reduction schedule with Central and South Maui as well.

"When conditions got better they were released from that but they've come back again," said Kodama.

If it weren't for Tropical Storms Flossie and Gil the land would've been even thirstier for rain.

"As it was we broke some records for driest August in some spots and as a result drought has increased in the last few weeks," said Kodama.

August had 62 wildfires on Oahu, the most in that month in three years and nearly twice as many fires as June and July. Firefighters also say in Hawaii any time of year can be fire season.

"It's just during the drier season it's a little easier for it to catch and it's a lot easier for it to spread so we need people to be very vigilant and avoid accidentally starting a fire and to call in whenever they see smoke," said Capt. Terry Seelig, Honolulu Fire Department.

Keep in mind it's not just fire danger, but firefighters make plenty of rescues from people on hiking trails underestimating the heat, their abilities or not taking along enough water.

"It's not just wildfires that we have to be concerned with it's also being outdoors and in the sun," said Capt. Seelig.

And it could stay dry for awhile. The fall forecast is calling for below normal amounts of rain.

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