Communities Reduce Wildfire Risk Through Land Use Planning

News Type: Regional Source: Headwaters Economics
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  • Development trends in the wildland-urban interface, coupled with increasing wildfire size and frequency, put many communities at risk from wildfire, as evidenced by the devastating 2017 wildfire season.
  • Eight new communities have joined the Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire (CPAW) program for 2018 to reduce their risk through improved land use planning.
  • CPAW provides a variety of assistance to communities, including land use planning support and recommendations, training and capacity building, risk assessments, and specialized research and science.

Costs and Risks to Communities from Wildfires Growing Rapidly

The deadly and costly 2017 U.S. wildfire season shows that two trends that are on a collision course: cities are growing in population and expanse while wildfires are increasing in size and frequency, resulting in more communities being affected by wildfire.

This year was the most expensive on record for federal firefighting costs, surpassing $2 billion and causing billions more in damages, destroying thousands of homes, and causing crises in several state budgets.