About Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire
Wasco County is one of eight communities recently selected through a nationwide competitive process to participate in the Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire (CPAW) program. Established in 2015, CPAW works with communities to reduce wildfire risks through improved land use planning. The program is funded through the U.S. Forest Service and private foundations.
The CPAW team consists of land use planners, foresters, researchers, and wildfire risk modeling specialists. Over the next year, CPAW will work with agencies, organizations, and local experts in planning, fire, emergency management, and land management to develop customized planning recommendations for Wasco County.
On a site visit in March they toured the County, presented their hazard assessment methodology to representatives from various fire service agencies and facilitated a workshop with citizens and agency representatives to learn more about current conditions.
For their second site visit in July they followed up on the original hazard assessment presentation with Wasco County specific data and gathered inputs on how to best tweak their models to capture accurate fire risk across the County. They also trained more than twenty planners from the Forest Service, five area counties – Hood River, Multnomah, Wasco, Skamania, and Klickitat – and the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area on the basics of wildfire as well as tools available for planners to better protect the Wildland Urban Interface from fire related hazards.
They will return in the Fall with their final recommendations and updated locally tailored hazard assessment for County review. These services are delivered at no cost to the community and participation in the program is voluntary. Learn more at planningforwildfire.org.