Ocean Township Gets Federal Program to Reduce Wildfire Risks

Feb 21, 2018

The Township of Ocean (Waretown) has been selected as one of eight more communities across the country to receive technical assistance in 2018 under a national program that helps reduce the impact from wildfires.

The Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire has been set up for support at the local level as more places across the country experience devastating wildfires. Through CPAW, Ocean Township will collaborate with a team of consultants including land use planners, foresters and risk mapping experts to help “identify and implement local planning measures, such as improved policies to reduce wildfire risk to future development,” said a press release announcing the news.

Said Ocean Township Mayor Daniel Collamer, “The protection of our residents is paramount to the township committee. Our township has a long history of large wildfires. I believe the research and other services provided by this grant will significantly increase the safety of our community.”

CPAW was founded by Wildfire Planning International and Headwaters Economics, and is funded through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Forest Service and private foundations.

“We believe that the Township of Ocean is in an excellent position to benefit from CPAW due to the community’s wildfire risk, anticipated planning updates, and strong leadership support for this opportunity,” said Molly Mowery, president of Wildfire Planning International.

“Many communities have an interest in reducing wildfire risk through land use planning mechanisms, but may lack the capacity or expertise. CPAW provides the assistance needed to help achieve a positive outcome.”

“Good land use planning is not about telling people where to build. It’s about respecting private property while making safer, smarter community development decisions to avoid future wildfire disasters,” added Ray Rasker, Ph.D., executive director of Headwaters Economics.

“Through examining and sharing best practices from other cities and counties, communities can also learn about what successful land use planning for wildfire looks like in practice.”

As wildfires in the U.S. increasingly burn more acres, last longer, and cause damage to communities, CPAW is designed to provide an opportunity to help communities reverse these trends through better land use planning. More information is available at: planningforwildfire.org—M.S.




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