Federal Firefighter Say Hawaiian Wildfire Highlights Staffing Shortage

HONOLULU (AP) – The union representing Hawaii’s federal firefighters says last week’s wildfire that started on Navy property highlights staffing shortages for leeward Oahu.

Hawaii Federal Fire Union President Reid Shimabukuro says the closest federal fire station to Waianae that’s staffed at all hours is in Pearl City. He tells KHON-TV it’s fortunate last week’s fire started in the afternoon, when the Lualualei station was fully manned. Because of funding shortfalls, that station is staffed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Federal Fire Department says that through a mutual aid agreement, the Honolulu Fire Department would respond to an emergency outside of normal working hours.

Shimabukuro tells KITV there should be a permanent west side federal fire station that’s manned 24 hours a day.

Last week’s fire burned at least 1,200 acres.

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