The Honolulu Fire Department says it receives an average of 12 calls on a typical day to report that an imu fire will be lit.
On the day before Thanksgiving Day, the number of reported imu fires increases to more than 250.
On Thanksgiving Day, the number decreases to about 100, possibly because preparations commonly occur the night before.
To make your Thanksgiving dinner a success, HFD is reminding everyone to observe the following county fire code requirements:
- Obtain approval from the owner, operator, or manager of the property where you plan to light an imu fire.
- Dig your imu where its fire cannot accidentally spread and create a fire hazard.
- Avoid placing your imu where its smoke will blow into or across homes.
- Notify your county fire department dispatch center prior to lighting your imu fire. In Honolulu, the number to call is 723-FIRE (723-3473).
If you see smoke from across the valley, down the street, or next door, make note of the following tips when you aren’t sure of its source:
Forests and Fields
Any smoke coming from a forested area or open field should be immediately reported by calling 911.
Around Homes or Buildings
Most folks know what hibachi smoke looks like -- small and light in color. However, if you see a larger amount of smoke, especially if the smoke increases in size and intensity, call 911. If it is an imu fire, hopefully, the HFD will have been informed, as required, and the dispatcher will let you know.