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Project ID: 11-1-3-10

Year: 2011

Date Started: 11/01/2011

Date Completed: 11/10/2015

Title: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Mitigation Activities in the Wildland Urban Interface; Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs)

Project Proposal Abstract: Millions of dollars have been spent on developing and implementing Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs), and there is no doubt that community wildfire protection planning benefits communities, landowners, and citizens. Similarly, federal, tribal, state, and local land managers have benefited from the development and implementation of CWPPs. Yet, in many cases, very little information has been collected on the effectiveness of specific activities undertaken to reduce the impact of fire in the wildland urban interface (WUI). New information is needed to help communities make informed decisions about what mitigation strategies are most appropriate based on individual social, economic, and ecological conditions. To address this need, we propose to create a CWPP Effectiveness Reference Guidebook (Guidebook) based on a detailed assessment of the mitigation activities in eight communities across New Mexico. The lessons learned in these eight communities and the Guidebook will provide communities and landowners with new information on the effectiveness of mitigation activities and a straight forward tool to help them evaluate their own efforts. Our field data collection will include three phases: 1) evaluate the effectiveness of wildfire mitigation activities in six New Mexico communities; 2) build a reference guide based on these evaluations, and 3) validate the guide in two additional communities. We will determine which wildfire mitigation measures were most effective, and the Guidebook will assist others to make more effective decisions. As discussed in greater detail in the methods section, to evaluate wildfire mitigation in each community, we will: " Assess the extent to which CWPP goals have been achieved by o Identifying forest fuel reduction, fire break, and restoration treatments o Conducting a sample of home owner mitigation activities o Interviewing managers, officials, and other community members o Determining if FireWise designation has been recommended and achieved " Model the effectiveness of both CWPP goals and actual implementation to date by o Modeling fire behavior with and without forest treatments based on forest inventory from treated and surrounding areas o Analyzing the impact of homeowner mitigation activities o Assessing the connection between homeowner mitigation and wildland treatments We will synthesize the results of the CWPP evaluation, evaluation of homeowner mitigations, fire behavior modeling, barriers to establishing FireWise communities in rural areas, and existing scientific literature into our Guidebook to help communities make decisions about what mitigation strategies are most appropriate based on individual social, economic, and ecological conditions. During the final year of the project, we will work with two new communities to evaluate their CWPPs using the Guidebook, which will enable us to validate and refine the guide. We will share both the Guidebook and the lessons learned from the eight communities with communities and managers through publications, webpages, interactive webinars, training sessions, conference presentations, and the Southwest Fire Science Consortium.

Principal Investigator: Alexander M. Evans

Agency/Organization: Forest Guild

Branch or Dept:

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Agreements Contact

Mark M. Silano

Forest Guild

Community Forestry

Budget Contact

Mark M. Silano

Forest Guild

Community Forestry

Co-Principal Investigator

Eytan S. Krasilovsky

Forest Guild

Community Forestry


Greg D. Gallegos

Santa Fe County Fire Department

Wildland Division


David S. Saah

Spatial Informatics Group, LLC

Natural Hazards

Project Locations











Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
view or print go to website 7734 Final Report Summary Effective wildfire mitigation in the wildland-urban interface: a research summary
view or print go to website 7480 Invited Paper/Presentation Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Mitigation Activities in the WUI
  go to website 7481 Dataset (including spatial) McKinley County Community Wildfire Protection Plan
  go to website 7482 Invited Paper/Presentation Fire Adaptive Communities New Mexico Hub
  go to website 7483 Invited Paper/Presentation Fire Adapted Communities
view or print go to website 7733 Final Report Supplement Evaluating the Effectiveness of Wildfire Mitigation Activities in the Wildland-Urban Interface
  go to website 7007 Website Evaluating the Effectiveness of Mitigation Activities in the Wildland Urban Interface

Supporting Documents

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