Residents of the San Marcos Pass/Eastern Goleta Valley Mountainous Area 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 Communities CWPP began in 2016. A CWPP Development Team consisting of community members and technical experts was formed to work in conjunction with a Fire Planning consultant to develop the plan. A County working group consisting of staff from County Fire, Planning and Development, and the County Executive Office gave guidance and support to the Development Team. The final draft plan was completed in February of 2019 and adopted by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors on March 5th, 2019.
The Development Team is listed below.
- San Marcos Pass – Eastern Goleta Valley Mountainous Communities CWPP
- SMPEGV CWPP Presentation to the Board of Supervisors