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Abercrombie approves emergency steps for Kauai forest

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Gov. Neil Abercrombie is issuing an executive order to allow the state to take emergency actions to restore fire-damaged forest on Kauai.

The work includes removing dead trees, planting native species and establishing ground cover to stabilize exposed soils.

The governor’s office said Friday immediate action is needed to stabilize fire-damaged slopes. The state must also minimize the harm to the forest and ocean environment from heavy rains, debris and runoff in the area.

The state says three fires burned 3,000 acres in West Kauai from May to August last year. The fires were Kauai’s largest and most significant wildfires since the 1960s.

A third of the burned area is in the Na Pali-Kona Forest Reserve, Puuka Pele Forest Reserve and Kuia Natural Area Reserve.

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