Community Wildfire Protection Plan draft on target for fall

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The Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council hosted another meeting last week to plan the 2014 Community Wildfire Protection Plan. The group’s goal is to have the new CWPP completed by this fall. Before it is finished, Mike Esnard, MCFSC president, plans at least one community meeting to discuss and garner public thoughts and recommendations.

At this session, he wants to “have the agencies talk about what they’ve done and what’s in the plan. This is what the community needs to know,” he said. He also plans to solicit the community’s interest in fire protection; meanwhile, Esnard is already editing the draft 2014 CWPP.

The various local fire agencies are preparing reports on current and prospective projects such as fuelbreaks and treatment projects. Division Chief Gregg Bratcher, Cal Fire and Riverside County Fire Department forester, reported that the various agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, all incorporate the CWPP into their more comprehensive planning, “… so each agency has a master plan and the CWPP is a piece of the these fire plans, which are public documents,” Bratcher said.

Esnard intends to devote more attention to the issue and the process of evacuation in this CWPP. “It has happened and we should talk about it, but we’ll need to know from the sheriff’s department whether they have any changes planned,” he said.

The issue of how big an area the CWPP should encompass was discussed. During preparation of the past plan, there was talk about expanding it to include the Anza, Sage and Aguanga areas. However, at this time, Esnard plans to keep the boundaries as they are — from Poppet Flats south to Pinyon.

“We don’t see a need to change them now; certainly within this update,” he confirmed.

After this effort to revise the plan, Esnard expressed his hope that there would be annual updates of what was accomplished during the preceding year. This would keep it current and mitigate a major effort every five years to revise it.

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