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Community Wildfire Protection Plans

Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs) are a mechanism for communities to address their wildfire risk. These plans promote collaboration and local action, and can work in partnership with Firewise activities.

Destructive wildland fires in 2002 were a catalyst for Congress to pass the Healthy Forests Restoration Act (HFRA) in 2003. The intent of the HFRA was to provide funding and guidance for better forest management practices throughout wildland areas and the wildland urban interface. One of the key outcomes of the HFRA was to incentivize communities to create a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). An approved CWPP can influence and prioritize future funding for hazardous fuel reduction projects, including where and how federal agencies implement fuel reduction projects on federal lands.

CWPPs must meet three basic criteria:

  • Collaboration: A CWPP must be collaboratively developed by local and state government representatives, in consultation with federal agencies and other interested parties.
  • Prioritized Fuel Reduction: A CWPP must identify and prioritize areas for hazardous fuel reduction treatments and recommend the types and methods of treatment that will protect one or more at-risk communities and essential infrastructure.
  • Treatment of Structural Ignitability: A CWPP must recommend measures that homeowners and communities can take to reduce the ignitability of structures throughout the area addressed by the plan.

Find more information on the CWPP website.

Firewise-friendly CWPPs
A community that is writing a CWPP can align its recommended measures with Firewise. In fact, a Firewise plan is already one that identifies steps, which homeowners and the Firewise Community will take to reduce home ignitability and treat hazardous fuels and vegetation in the home ignition zone. For example, Firewise principles recommend that homeowners thin trees and landscaping around each house and design structures with heat-resistant building materials. 

See more examples of Firewise principles.

By signing up your community to become Firewise, you are already on your way to meeting some of the CWPP requirements. Conversely, if you are looking for recommendations in your CWPP, make Firewise a top priority! Together, CWPP and Firewise efforts can strengthen the success and outcomes of each.

Several states, including Utah and Texas, have recognized the compatibility between Firewise recognition and CWPP requirements. These states require that any Firewise Communities/USA application also goes through the CWPP application process. To learn more about the potential linkages in your area, contact your state liaison

Don't forget ...
Communities sometimes think they often have to choose between a CWPP or becoming Firewise, when in fact the two processes are compatible and can be aligned.