Report Title:

State Fire Council; Brushfire Mitigation Plan

 

Description:

Requires the state fire council to develop a statewide brushfire mitigation plan. Appropriates funds to implement a public education program on brushfire prevention and safety. Establishes 2 full-time positions within the state fire council. (HB2376 SD1)

 


HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

2376

TWENTY-FOURTH LEGISLATURE, 2008

H.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

S.D. 1

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT


 

 

RELATING TO THE STATE FIRE COUNCIL.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that each year brushfires endanger people and property on each island of the state. In 2007 alone, brushfires burned thousands of acres on the Waianae Coast and North Shore of Oahu, Lahaina and the Kula Forest Reserve on Maui, and Waikoloa on Hawaii. These fires threatened homes and businesses in these areas, and they required vast amounts of resources and personnel to bring them under control.

The purpose of this Act is to reduce the danger of wildfires throughout the state by requiring the state fire council to develop a comprehensive statewide brushfire mitigation plan.

SECTION 2. The state fire council shall develop a statewide brushfire mitigation plan. The plan shall include:

(1) Identification of private and public methods of accomplishing the goal of brushfire reduction;

(2) Development of a program to educate the public on brushfire prevention and safety; and

(3) Exploration of additional resources to prevent brushfires and mitigate the effects of brushfires when they occur.

SECTION 3. In developing the statewide brushfire mitigation plan, the state fire council shall investigate the potential effects of widespread use of reduced-ignition-propensity cigarettes in the prevention of brushfires throughout the state.

SECTION 4. Section 132-16, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"132-16 State fire council; composition; functions. (a) There is established a state fire council which shall be placed within the department of labor and industrial relations for administrative purposes. The state fire council shall consist of the fire chiefs of the counties. The state fire council may appoint an advisory committee to assist it in carrying out its functions under this chapter. The advisory committee may include the heads of the various county building departments, a licensed architect recommended by the Hawaii Society of the American Institute of Architects, a licensed electrical engineer and a licensed mechanical engineer recommended by the Consulting Engineers Council of Hawaii, a representative of the Hawaii Rating Bureau, a representative of the Hawaii firefighters association, representatives of the county fire departments, and such other members of the public as the state fire council may determine can best assist it. The state fire council shall elect a chairperson from among its members.

(b) In addition to adopting a state fire code pursuant to section 132-3, the state fire council shall serve as a focal point through which all applications to the federal government for federal grant assistance for fire-related projects shall be made. Upon the receipt of any such federal grants, the state fire council shall administer those federal grants.

(c) The state fire council may also:

(1) Appoint advisory committees comprised of representatives from each county fire department to assist in drafting the state fire code and coordinating statewide training, data collection, and contingency planning needs for firefighters; and

(2) Advise and assist the county fire departments where appropriate, may prescribe standard procedures and forms relating to inspections, investigations, and reporting of fires, may approve plans for cooperation among the county fire departments, and may advise the governor and the legislature with respect to fire prevention and protection, life safety, and any other functions or activities for which the various county fire departments are generally responsible.

(d) The state fire council shall establish a full-time position for an administrator and a full-time position for an administrative assistant to provide staff support to the state fire council, including assisting the council with:

(1) Developing a statewide brushfire mitigation plan; and

(2) Implementing a public education program on brushfire prevention and safety."

SECTION 5. The state fire council shall develop recommendations for proposed legislation designed to reduce the occurrence of brushfires in the State and mitigate the harmful effects of brushfires when they occur. The state fire council shall report its findings, including proposed legislation, to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2009.

SECTION 6. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $         or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2008-2009 for the purposes of this Act, including the establishment and staffing of two full-time positions, an administrator and an administrative assistant, to provide staff support for the state fire council, pursuant to section 132-16, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of labor and industrial relations for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2020.