Date of this Version
Fire Science Brief, Issue 65, August 2009
Fountain grass is an invasive, highly flammable ornamental plant that has overtaken the dry, tropical ecosystems of west Hawaii. Over the last several decades, large, fast spreading fountain grass fires have burned across the landscape with increasing frequency, usually ignited by roadside activities in remote areas. The Pu’u Anahulu Fuels Management Project evaluated the effectiveness of different roadside fuels treatments on fountain grass using a collaborative approach, and allowed the first use of science-based fuels treatments and prescribed fire in Hawaii. Demonstration sites were established along roadsides where ignitions were known to occur. The clear winner for sustained reduction of fountain grass was a three stage application of prescribed fire, grazing and herbicide.