College - Author 1
College of Architecture and Environmental Design
Department - Author 1
City and Regional Planning Department
Degree Name - Author 1
BS in City and Regional Planning
William Siembieda, College of Architecture and Environmental Design, City and Regional Planning Department
San Luis Obispo County has a long history of wildfires and can be expected every fire season. Agencies providing fire protection do an excellent job at reducing the risk to loss of life, property, and natural resources in the area, but there is always room for improvement. California in general is experiencing increasingly longer, hotter, and drier fire seasons due to climate change, and San Luis Obispo County is no exception. As the population increases urban development is pushed to the outer limits of city boundaries where it often conflicts with forests in an area called the wildland urban interface. This area is very prone to the risk of wildfire and a major reason for the need of a community wildfire protection plan (CWPP).
The intent of this document is to describe the benefits and necessary steps of a CWPP, as well as plans and programs related to fire protection that can help in development of a community plan. This informational guide consists of best practices, case studies, summaries of Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP), interviews, and recommendations to incorporate needs from each community into a countywide CWPP.
The goal is for the CWPP to be a tool for a county wildfire safety plan that draws from the needs and risks from each community determined from research and interviews. The CWPP could then be used as a guide and a tool for other plans regarding wildfire protection such as the LHMP or Safety Element to reference. Consistency is key throughout these different plans in hopes that each document can draw from one another when being updated. The CWPP could even be useful for other elements within the General Plan such as Land Use or Circulation elements. At the very least this document can help start the conversation of what a CWPP is and how the county can benefit from such a plan.