What: A Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) is a community plan to reduce the risk of wildfire. The plan identifies strategic sites and methods for fuel reduction projects.
Why: Benefits of Community Wildfire Protection Plans to the community include:
- Communities can help determine the appropriate boundaries for the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) covered in their CWPP.
- Communities with CWPPs are given priority for Federal grants for projects to reduce hazardous fuels.
- Federal Agencies can use alternative environmental compliance options to expedite fuel reduction projects identified in CWPPs.
- Communities can organize projects, based on CWPPs, to build fuel breaks and reduce hazardous fuels without federal funding.
How: The Santa Clara County FireSafe Council received a federal grant from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in early 2006 to develop CWPPs. The BLM is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior and the grant is administered by the California Fire Safe Council. SCFSC used this federal funding, plus local matching funding from companies and individuals, to develop CWPPs for the Croy Fire Area west of Morgan Hill and Gilroy and for the East Foothills east of San Jose.
The Lexington Hills CWPP was developed by SCFSC in 2008-2009 with contributions from stakeholders and the community. This CWPP involved many large stakeholders including CAL FIRE, Santa Clara County Fire Department, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, Santa Clara Valley Water District and San Jose Water Company. Several community organizations were also represented including Aldercroft Heights County Water District.
The Palo Alto Foothills Fire Management Plan was developed independently from SCFSC by the Palo Alto Fire Department and Wildland Resource Management.
In February of 2016, Santa Clara County is organizing to develop a countywide CWPP. SCFSC encourages participation in our CWPP workshops that will be happening the last two weeks of February. Read more about the workshops.
CWPPs need to be coordinated with related plans including CAL FIRE plans and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) Hazard Mitigation Plans.