Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs) represent the best opportunity we have to address the challenges of the wildland-urban interface (WUI) in a way that brings about comprehensive and locally supported solutions.
Community Wildfire Protection Plans
Community Wildfire Protection Plans
Community Wildfire Protection Plans are authorized and defined in Title I of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act (HFRA) passed by Congress on November 21, 2003, and signed into law by President Bush on December 3, 2003.
The Healthy Forests Restoration Act places renewed emphasis on community planning by extending a variety of benefits to communities with a wildfire protection plan in place. Critical among these benefits is the option of establishing a localized definition and boundary for the wildland-urban interface (WUI), and the opportunity to help shape fuels treatment priorities for surrounding federal and non-federal lands.
The CWPP, as described in the Act, brings together diverse local interests to discuss their mutual concerns for public safety, community sustainability and natural resources. It offers a positive, solution-oriented environment in which to address challenges such as local firefighting capability, the need for defensible space around homes and subdivisions, and where and how to prioritize land management on both federal and non-federal land.
Key Components of a CWPP in Colorado
- The CWPP process must include local government, the local fire authority, local CSFS representatives and representatives of relevant federal land management agencies, as well as other relevant non-governmental partners.
- Partners should assess community risks and values, identify protection priorities and establish fuels treatment projects.
- A description of the community’s wildland-urban interface (WUI) problem areas, preferably with a map and narrative.
- Information on the community’s preparedness to respond to a wildland fire.
- A community risk analysis that considers, at a minimum, fuel hazards, risk of wildfire occurrence and community values to be protected both in the immediate vicinity and the surrounding zone where potential fire spread poses a realistic threat.
- Identification of fuels treatment priorities on the ground and methods of treatment.
- Ways to reduce structural ignitability.
- An implementation plan.
Level of Specificity
- A CWPP can be developed for any level of “community,” from a homeowners association or mountain town to a county or metropolitan city.
- Information contained in the plan should be at a level of specificity appropriate for the community.
- County level plans can be used as an umbrella for community plans but should not be considered a substitute. A county plan will not provide the detail needed for project-level planning.
Adapting Existing Plans & Combining Related Plans
If an existing plan already meets the majority of the CWPP criteria, a community plan can be adapted to meet the remainder of the criteria. This needs to be done in collaboration with community members and relevant partners as listed in the Participants component of the CWPP.
Learn More About CWPPs
- Community Guide to Preparing & Implementing a CWPP – 2008 (8.6 MB PDF)
- Community Wildfire Protection Plan Evaluation Guide (810 KB PDF)
- CWPP Briefing Paper – May 11, 2005 (48 KB PDF)
- CWPP: Guidelines for Implementation (148 KB PDF)
- CWPP Minimum Standards – REVISED 2009 (75 KB PDF)
- CWPP Power Point Presentation (781 KB PDF)
- Leaders Guide for Developing a CWPP (209 KB PDF) – (goes with the handbook)
- Preparing a Community Wildfire Protection Plan – Handbook (662 KB PDF)
Income Tax Subtraction for Wildfire Mitigation Measures
Colorado landowners with property located in a wildland-urban interface area may qualify to receive a tax subtraction for the costs of wildfire mitigation work:
As authorized by §39-22-104(4)(n)(ll), C.R.S., for income tax years 2009 through 2024 individuals, estates and trusts may subtract from federal taxable income certain costs incurred in performing wildfire mitigation measures. For qualifications and limitations under the Wildfire Mitigation Measures Subtraction, please visit the Colorado Department of Revenue.