Residents of the San Marcos Pass/Eastern Goleta Valley Mountainous Area have expressed an interest in developing a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). The concept of the CWPP arose under federal law with the Healthy Forests Restoration Act (HFRA) in 2003. In March of 2004, the National Association of State Foresters, Society of American Foresters, National Association of Counties, Communities’ Committee, and Western Governor’s Association published the guidance booklet “Preparing a Community Wildfire Protection Plan; A Handbook for Wildland-Urban Interface Communities”. On August 8, 2011, the County Board of Supervisors approved a CWPP Development Process.
The purpose of a CWPP is to identify fire hazard reduction strategies for at-risk communities that are in balance with sustainable ecological management and fiscal resources, and to provide educational resources for residents to enhance fire preparedness. Fire hazard reduction strategies include identifying and prioritizing areas for hazardous fuel reduction treatments, recommending current best practices as to the types and methods of fuel treatments, and recommending measures to reduce structure ignitability. They are collaborative agreements, developed by at-risk communities in consultation with various interested parties and agreed to by the appropriate local government, fire department and the State Forester. Three CWPPs have been developed in the County of Santa Barbara: (1) Mission Canyon Wildfire Protection Plan, (2) Montecito Community Wildfire Protection Plan (draft), and (3) City of Goleta Community Wildfire Protection Plan.
Development of the San Marcos Pass/Eastern Goleta Valley Mountainous Area CWPP has begun. A County working group consisting of staff from County Fire, Planning and Development, and the County Executive Office will give guidance to the CWPP Development Team consisting of community members and technical experts. Stay tuned for information on community meetings – the participation of area residents and community groups will be encouraged. There will be several upcoming Public Workshops as the draft Plan takes shape. The Development Team is listed below.
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To stay updated about or become involved in this CWPP process, email CWPP@countyofsb.org.