§185-7  Fire danger periods, burning permits, setting fires, penalties.  (a)  During periods of weather when the threat of fire is particularly dangerous within forest reserves, public hunting areas, wildlife and plant sanctuaries, and natural area reserves in any branch, the manager shall establish a fire danger period by causing a fire warning to be issued by publishing a notice containing information setting forth the type of closure and a designation of the affected areas or by posting notices in public places with similar information.  During fire danger periods, the manager may:

     (1)  Totally close or limit use within an area;

     (2)  Prohibit any burning;

     (3)  Prohibit smoking in specified areas, including in automobiles operating in the area; and

     (4)  Prohibit camping in certain areas.

Attorney's Note

Under the Hawaii Revised Statutes, punishments for crimes depend on the classification. In the case of this section:
misdemeanorup to 1 year$2,000
For details, see Haw. Rev. Stat. § 706-663

Terms Used In Hawaii Revised Statutes 185-7

  • Branch: means an area comprising a county of the State. See Hawaii Revised Statutes 185-1
  • county: includes the city and county of Honolulu. See Hawaii Revised Statutes 1-22
  • Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
  • Department: means the department of land and natural resources. See Hawaii Revised Statutes 185-1
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Manager: means the forestry and wildlife manager of a designated branch. See Hawaii Revised Statutes 185-1
  • Restitution: The court-ordered payment of money by the defendant to the victim for damages caused by the criminal action.

However, in areas where fire control operations are in progress, a manager may prohibit public access and use without prior notice for purposes of effective fire control operations and public safety.

     (b)  The manager will minimize the threat of fires by maintaining control through the issuance and management of burning permits or the establishment of rules by the department, pursuant to chapter 91.  On other lands where the department has direct fire protection responsibility, as described in section [185-1.5], and on adjoining property that offer a significant threat to those lands, the department shall establish agreements with the department [of] health to require burning plans acceptable to the managers and the county fire chief.  The issuance of permits shall be at the discretion of the issuing officer who shall take into account whether the issuance of a permit is compatible with safety.  Holders of permits shall start no fires during a heavy wind or without sufficient help present to control same and shall maintain a constant watch over the fires until they have been extinguished.

     (c)  Any person who violates any restriction of a closure or any person who discards burning material within a closed fire area, or, every person who sets a fire on land within the closed fire area without a permit, or, every person who wilfully, maliciously, or negligently sets a fire which burns property not owned, leased, or controlled by the person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.  Any person violating this section shall be fined not less than $250 nor more than $4,000 and shall be held liable for restitution for any suppression costs and damages to public or private property.  Setting fires or causing them to be set or allowing them to escape shall be prima facie evidence of wilfulness, malice, or negligence under this section; provided that nothing herein contained shall apply to a person who, in good faith, sets a back fire to check a fire already burning.  A “closed fire area” is defined as the area wherein a total closure or specific burning restrictions are in effect during a fire danger period.