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Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs)

California Fire Alliance
Community Wildfire Protection Plan Guidance

The California Fire Alliance encourages the development of Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPP), as defined by the Healthy Forests Restoration Act (HFRA) (105K PDF).

The CWPP enables a community to plan how it will reduce the risk of wildfire. The plan identifies strategic sites and methods for fuel reduction projects across the landscape and jurisdictional boundaries. Benefits of having a CWPP include National Fire Plan funding priority for projects identified in a CWPP. The United States Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management can expedite the implementation of fuel treatments, identified in a CWPP, through alternative environmental compliance options offered under the HFRA.

The purpose of this web page is to promote, support and facilitate the development of CWPPs among California communities at risk from Wildfire. The Alliance has reviewed and recommends the following tools to communities seeking guidance in developing a CWPP.

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General Guidance

Preparing a Community for Wildfire Protection Plan: A Handbook for Wildland-Urban Interface Communities (835K PDF). Prepared by the National Association of State Foresters. This document describes the legislation behind the CWPP, presents a process for developing a CWPP, and explains the require elements of a CWPP.

Briefing Paper Community Wildfire Protection Plans, May 11, 2005 (116K PDF), An additional companion guidance document, also developed by the National Association of State Foresters. This document summarizes the CWPP requirements.

CWPP Simplified Template (485K DOC or 965K PDF). Prepared by the California Fire Alliance, the template is a "fill in the blanks" form designed to include the essential elements in a CWPP and benefit from the Lessons Learned (16K PDF). It follows the eight-step process outlined in "Preparing a Community Wildfire Protection Plan, A Handbook for Wildland-Urban Interface Communities".

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Final Certification & Agreement

The CWPP must be agreed to by three entities: the local government, the local Fire Department, and the State Forester. In California, CWPPs are final when the Community Wildfire Protection Plan Certification and Agreement Signature Sheet (14K RTF) is signed by the three entities. Communities with a completed CWPP are required to attach this signature page to their plans.

In California, the State Forester is the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). CWPPs should be submitted to the CAL FIRE Unit Chief for the area in which the community exists. If you need additional information contact the Alliance.

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Plan Linkage

Communities developing CWPPs are encouraged to integrate their CWPP planning process into other planning processes such as:

  • General Plan
  • DMA 2000 Local Hazard Mitigation Plan
  • Flood Mitigation Plan (prepared by communities participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP))
  • Other local hazard, evacuation, and emergency plans

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Additional Resources & Information

The Alliance has received many questions about CWPPs. One important question is What State and Federal agencies need? in a CWPP for funding selection and project reporting. In response to these questions the Alliance will be developing a Frequently Asked Questions page that provides answers to assist the development of CWPPs.

In the future the Alliance will also be posting a link to all Final CWPPs in California. If a community wants its plan to be identified by all Federal and State agencies making funding decisions, please submit the CWPP Reporting Form (7K PDF).

Enhancing Your Plan:
Members of the Alliance have reviewed several CWPPs. The Alliance offers Lessons Learned (16K PDF), which identifies consistent errors, weaknesses or strengths that might aid communities to avoid common mistakes and include elements that improve their own plans.

Some of our files require that you have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your system. If you do not currently have Acrobat, or are not sure if you have it installed, you can download it directly from Adobe.

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