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Individual Highlight

Best Management Practices for Community Wildfire Protection Plans

Photo of Local leaders help ensure that the CWPP makes a difference on the ground.  Pamela Jakes, Forest ServiceLocal leaders help ensure that the CWPP makes a difference on the ground. Pamela Jakes, Forest ServiceSnapshot : Bringing local solutions to wildland fire management

Principal Investigators(s) :
Jakes, Pamela J. 
Research Station : Northern Research Station (NRS)
Year : 2012
Highlight ID : 48


Community wildfire protection planning, or CWPP, has been considered one of the most successful tools for addressing wildfire fire management in the wildland-urban interface. Although many communities have created CWPPs, foresters estimate that less than 10 percent of the communities at risk from wildfire have plans in place. Best management practices gleaned from the 10 percent can make the CWPP process more effective and efficient for the remaining 90 percent.

Initiating legislation provided little direction for what a CWPP process or product might look like, leaving wildland-urban interface community members and their potential partners with a number of questions about what a CWPP should include and what process should be followed. Case studies conducted by Forest Service social scientists and their university colleagues in 13 communities nationwide offered some guidance to communities seeking to create or revise a CWPP.

The best management practices that emerged from talking to more than 130 people are a collection of lessons that empower communities and their partners to produce a plan that takes into account their social and ecological contexts in addressing local wildland fire issues and concerns. Best management practices highlight the importance of drawing on a community´┐Żs capacity and necessary networks while creating new capacities for future action.

The practices highlight the linkage between how a community frames the issue of wildland fire management and the scale selected for the CWPP. Finally, the best management practices suggest steps to sustain interest, participation, resources, and support for the CWPP.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Fort Lewis College
  • Joint Fire Science Program
  • Southern Oregon University
  • University of Colorado
  • University of Minnesota

Program Areas