Community Wildfire Protection Plan being drafted for Union County

The Southern Five Regional Planning District and Development Commission is developing a Community Wildfire Protection Plan, CWPP, update. 

A CWPP is a plan designed to identify and mitigate wildfire hazards to communities and infrastructure located in the wildland-urban interface, WUI, which is an area located between wildland and human development. 

The CWPP makes recommendations for hazardous fuels reduction, public outreach and education, structural ignitability reduction and fire response capabilities. 

This will be Union County’s first Community Wildfire Protection Plan. 

Facilitated collaboration among local, state, and federal officials, as well as non-governmental stakeholders and private citizens, is foundational to the planning process. 

The 2021 Union County CWPP will identify potential priority areas where mitigation measures are needed to protect irreplaceable life, property and critical infrastructure in the county, from wildfire. 

A CWPP is designed to assist the county and landowners in ensuring that a future catastrophic wildfire is avoided or mitigated by assessing areas at risk and recommending measures to decrease those risks. 

The CWPP also provides recommendations for improving forest health and forest resiliency through the use of forest practices, including prescribed fire and vegetation management. 

In previous years, Union County and partners have been successful in planning and implementing forest management actions, including hazardous fuel treatment projects on public and private land; organizing public outreach and education campaigns that focus on wildfire prevention and the importance of defensible space; and better preparing communities that are at risk of wildfire by utilizing the Fire Adapted Community concepts. 

Much of this work has been achieved through interagency collaboration, working across ownership boundaries to develop landscape-level forest management and wildfire mitigation solutions. 

This CWPP effort builds upon that long history of collaboration, those involved with the program said. 

A core team of local agency stakeholders has been convened to work together to develop the CWPP to ensure the plan is applicable to the communities it is designed to serve. 

The goal is that all recommended projects are designed to greatly reduce wildfire risk to residents and ensure that communities can live safely in this fire-prone environment. 

On Friday, June 25, Victoria Amato, lead fire planner and project manager, plans to be leading a public outreach event to speak directly with community members about the project. 

The event is scheduled from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. outside of Stinson Memorial Library in Anna.

In September, the public will be invited to provide feedback on the draft plan which is developed.  

The CWPP will be a guiding document for fire and emergency managers, as well as agencies which manage land within Union County. 

The CWPP is designed to serve county residents. Those involved with developing the plan encourage the community’s interest and engagement in the process. 

For more information, contact project manager Vicky Amato at vamato@swca.com

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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