The Town of Mammoth Lakes announced Wednesday that it has been selected as one of eight new communities from across the country to receive technical assistance in 2018 under a national program that helps reduce the impacts from wildfires.
As more cities and counties across the country experience devastating wildfires, the Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire (CPAW) program offers much-needed support at the local level. Through CPAW, Mammoth Lakes will collaborate with a team of consultants, including land use planners, foresters, and risk mapping experts, to help communities identify and implement local planning measures, such as improved policies to reduce wildfire risk to future development.
“We are honored and pleased to have been selected for this program. We recognize that wildfire is the most devastating hazard that our community faces that we have the ability to alter the outcome” said Fire Chief Frank Frievalt. “The community and our partners have come a long way, but we have more that needs to be done to prevent an occurrence that could be devastating to our residents, property, and economy.”
“We believe the community is in an excellent position to benefit from CPAW due to the communities wildfire risk, anticipated planning updates, and strong leadership support for this opportunity,” said Molly Mowery, President of Wildfire Planning International. “Many communities have an interest in reducing wildfire risk through land use planning mechanisms, but may lack the capacity or expertise. CPAW provides the assistance needed to help achieve a positive outcome.”
“Good land use planning is not about telling people where to build. It’s about respecting private property while making safer, smarter community development decisions to avoid future wildfire disasters,” adds Ray Rasker, Ph.D., Executive Director of Headwaters Economics. “Through examining and sharing best practices from other cities and counties, communities can also learn about what successful land use planning for wildfire looks like in practice.”
As wildfires in the U.S. increasingly burn more acres, last longer, and cause damage to communities, CPAW is an opportunity to help communities reverse these trends through better land use planning. More information is available at:planningforwildfire.org.