Hawaii is working on updating four Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs) utilizing grant funding from the US Forest Service .  The communities include South Kona, Volcano, Ka’u and Ocean View.
What is a Community Wildfire Protection Plan and why is it important? CWPPs are authorized and defined in the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 . Part of the process of a CWPP includes garnering input from the public and local, state and federal land management agencies and fire jurisdictions to develop effective mitigation projects that look at structures and landscapes.  Completing these plans are a prerequisite to applying for federal funding for projects that provide educational opportunities and on the ground projects.  Firewise.org has some great information about CWPPs and their three key components; collaboration, prioritizing fuel reduction and treatment of structural ignitability.
Creating a CWPP is an important assessment tool that is the first part of creating a Fire Adapted Community .  They help larger communities that are comprised of smaller Firewise Communities and other partner groups work together to address large scale issues.  People working together all giving their input into these plans create an effective planning tool to address wildfire hazards.  I think about a saying that was a part of one Hawaiian Fire Chief’s meeting, “Hand in Hand Together We Can!”  Working together we can make a difference in the outcome of a community in the event of a wildfire.
!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d0ab7819970c-800wi|border=0|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d0ab7819970c-800wi|alt=Satellite view of Hawaii|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Satellite view of Hawaii|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d0ab7819970c img-responsive!A true-color satellite view of Hawaii shows that most of the vegetation on the islands grows on the northeast sides which face the wind. This picture comes from the Wikipedia website.</p>