Summertime "Hikes" Up Worries Over Fires - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Summertime "Hikes" Up Worries Over Fires

Aaron Lowe Aaron Lowe

By Paul Drewes

MANOA (KHNL) -- It's almost summertime, and that means it's time for many to 'take a hike'.

But more people on the trails is raising fears of fires during these dry months.

Hawaii has hundreds of miles of trails, and some of the most spectacular scenery around. "This is something only hawaii has to offer. Plant life and mountain areas, its unique, beautiful." says Brett Bennett, from Kentucky.

Getting off the beaten path appeals to both visitors and locals alike. Making it a popular activity especially during summer. "The trails are always beautiful. Sometimes they are hot and sticky but wonderful. One of the few places to go and see so much greenery." adds Steve Sparks from Arizona.

On Oahu, the State has stepped up maintenance on the most used trails, nearly 75 miles worth, have been cleaned up and cleared of trees.

"I think we're ready for summer." says the State's Trail Specialist, Aaron Lowe.

And they're not done yet. At Manoa Falls Cliff Trail, a popular hiking spot, a boardwalk will be going in this weekend along the 1st half mile. That will keep hikers out of the mud on rainy days.

But as we head into an expected arid summer, concern comes from careless campers or hikers hitting these same trails and not paying attention to the fire danger.

The greenery can quickly turn brown and can easily ignite.

"There is quite a bit of flash fuel vegetation, and we anticipate it to be an extremely risky season, as far as brush fires." adds Lowe.

So for those lacing up their boots, hiking safety should also include fire prevention from carelessly tossed lit cigarettes or neglected campfires.

"Our forests are special forests. We have some species that aren't found anywhere else in the world, and I think we need to respect that and protect those as a community." states Lowe.

To have a safe time on the trails, by knowing what you need and what you should do to plan your hike, check out the state's hiking website: www.hawaiitrails.org

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