Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wasatch Front Wildfire Plan to be Biggest in Utah

Sandy, Utah -- The biggest Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) in the state is getting underway for the south end of Salt Lake County. The plan, aimed at reducing risks from wildfires, will cover roughly ten miles along the benches and canyons of the Wasatch Front from Big Cottonwood Canyon to Alpine Ridge. The plan will be prepared by a citizen-based committee with the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, U.S. Forest Service and Salt Lake Unified Fire Authority as technical advisors.

The cities of Sandy, Draper, Cottonwood Heights and Granite will meet at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, December 4, 2009 at Sandy City Hall in order to form the committee. The group will then meet periodically to identify the high-risk areas, develop tactics for dealing with the hazards related to wildfire and to evaluate city fire ordinances. Once the plan is complete, it will be implemented by volunteers as well as federal, state and local government agencies.

"A plan like this can make all the difference when a wildfire breaks out," says the Utah’s Wildland Urban Interface Coordinator, Tyre Holfeltz. "The result is firefighters having an upper hand because the houses and communities are better prepared," he continues.

CWPPs are a component of the national multi-agency Firewise organization. Through fuel reduction, public education and proper planning, CWPP’s can change wildfire behavior in the urban interface. There are currently 140 CWPPs in place in Utah covering 190 communities.

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