What is a community wildfire protection plan?
A community wildfire protection plan (CWPP) is a strategy for reducing the wildland fire risk around a community. Communities create their plans with support and technical input from Wildland Fire Management.
Each plan includes:
- prioritized areas where fuel management should take place; and
- recommendations to reduce the chances that wildland fires will damage structures.
Why do we need CWPPs?
The boreal forest that covers most of the Yukon has a special relationship with fire. Forested areas are replaced by natural cycles of disturbances every 50 to 200 years. These disturbances can include:
- insect invasions; and
- wildland fires.
We try to put out every fire in areas near communities because this is where fires can do the most harm. When we stop fires from replacing forested areas, forests keep growing and become denser. A dense forest has a higher chance of catching fire and burning more intensely. This is a risk to communities.
We cannot control factors that affect wildfire behaviour. These factors include the weather and large-scale landscape features such as rivers and mountains. Instead, we manage vegetation to reduce fire risk. Managing fuels helps create wildfire-resilient communities.
A community helps decide which parts of the forest need to be managed to reduce wildfire risk. Their input becomes part of the wildfire protection plan which balances public safety needs with local priorities.
*As Yukon’s communities and our economic and social activities extend farther into forested areas, we become more exposed to wildfire danger.
What you can do to reduce wildfire risk
You have a role to play in wildfire safety. Taking action at home is the most effective way to make your community more resilient to wildfires.
Your community’s plan
We’re working with municipalities, First Nation governments and natural resource stakeholders to create community wildfire protection plans.
In Whitehorse, we’re helping the City of Whitehorse to implement their Wildfire Risk Reduction Strategy.
Plans have been completed in Haines Junction and Teslin.
We’re currently developing plans in:
- Beaver Creek;
- Burwash Landing and Destruction Bay;
- Faro; and
- Watson Lake.
We’ll add updates about how to review your local CWPP once your community’s working group finishes their draft version.
The Haines Junction Community Wildfire Protection Plan has been signed by the Village of Haines Junction, the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations and Wildland Fire Management.
A community town hall took place on Wednesday, April 20, 2022, in the St. Elias Convention Centre.
The Teslin Community Wildfire Protection Plan has been signed by the Teslin Tlingit Council, the Village of Teslin and Wildland Fire Management.