State officials said the weekend’s brush fire in Leeward Oahu caused extensive damage at Waianae Agricultural Park.
Four of nine working farms at the park suffered total losses, according to the state Department of Agriculture, while eight lots were either vacant or had pending leases, but were not in production. All 17 lots suffered damage.
A preliminary survey conducted on Tuesday found approximately 75 percent of the 150-acre park severely damaged by the fire.
“All of the farmers in that agricultural park are dealing with significant damage,” said Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, a long-time Waianae egg farmer and acting chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture in a news release. “Although the devastation is total on some farms, the spirit of farmers to replant and recover is as strong as ever and the department will focus on helping get everyone back into full production as soon as possible.”
The fire destroyed crops, including tomatoes, herbs, kale, palms, plumeria and orchids. It also destroyed farm structures, including a dwelling, trailers, sheds, shade houses, farm vehicles, tools and equipment — and irrigation systems.
The state’s Agricultural Resource Management Division, which manages the park, is working with affected farmers and providing assistance.
Waianae Agricultural Park is one of 10 that the state makes available to farmers at a reasonable cost, with long-term leases, to encourage farming.