With assistance from Fire Safe Sonoma and funding from the California Fire Foundation, the Mill Creek Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) is now complete!
This local CWPP is the culmination of hundreds of hours of volunteer time championed by the Mill Creek Citizens Organized to Prepare for Emergencies (COPE) over a seven-month period. In addition to the broad range of expertise provided by the Mill Creek COPE, the CWPP development process benefited from extensive communication and coordination with representatives of CAL FIRE, Healdsburg Fire Department, state and federal agencies, various county departments, and residents of the broader Mill Creek community.
This is the first edition of the Mill Creek CWPP — it can be modified over time as conditions change. The CWPP will serve as a guiding document for wildfire safety efforts by Mill Creek COPE and for planning and securing funding for projects that will help local residents prepare for wildfire. This plan is more important than ever as California faces unprecedented losses of life, property, and ecological values to wildfire.
The Mill Creek Community Wildfire Protection Plan development process began in January 2020 with a well-attended gathering of Mill Creek residents and fire agencies. Volunteering residents and agencies contributed to the plan through community outreach, research, writing and reviewing the CWPP, and meetings, including meetings held at the restored historic one-room Daniels Schoolhouse. The Mill Creek CWPP covers almost 20,000 acres (19,688) of primarily forested mountainous terrain west of Healdsburg from Westside Road to the border of Austin Creek State Recreation Area in the Cedars area and includes 305 parcels, 780 homes or structures, and approximately 500 residents.
A CWPP, as defined by the Healthy Forest Restoration Act (HFRA), is a plan for a community at risk that:
- Is developed collaboratively.
- Identifies and prioritizes fuel reduction projects.
- Recommends measures to reduce the ignitability of structures.
The Mill Creek CWPP was certified as meeting those three criteria by Fire Safe Sonoma, the Sonoma Lake, Napa Unit of CAL FIRE (LNU) Unit Chief, North Bay Fire, and the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. Certification of a CWPP by these entities does not constitute plan adoption or approval but does represent the signees’ agreement that the contents of the plan conform to the three HFRA CWPP standards.
Mill Creek COPE leaders and participants will now turn their focus to securing funding and landowner approval/cooperation in order to implement projects in the CWPP that meet each of the following four goal areas:
- Improving Emergency Access and Evacuation
- Reducing Fuels
- Reducing Ignitions
- Improving Emergency Notification and Communication
For more information contact us through our contact page.