Fire Safe Sonoma sets sights on Glen Ellen
Fire Safe Sonoma recently received funding from the California Fire Safe Council to support the organization and creation of four fire-safe councils or FireWise Communities in Sonoma County, along with their associated wildfire risk assessments. One of those areas is the community of Glen Ellen.
Over the past few months, Fire Safe Sonoma has been working with Glen Ellen community leaders Mark Newhouser and Ellie Insley on a local Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) and is inviting all community, members to participate in the process by attending a virtual public meeting at 9:30 am on Saturday, Nov. 19 (Zoom link to join: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYtf-yoqT0vHtPYLgNjnbeEHdvnP-uM-d8k).
A “CWPP” is a community-based plan focused on identifying and addressing local wildfire hazards and risks. It helps determines what is at risk and provides a roadmap of actions for a community to address the wildfire threat. While discussing the CWPP process at an earlier meeting, CalFire Division Chief Justin Benguerel, who is assigned to the Sonoma Valley area said, “It is not a PG&E problem, it’s not a CalFire problem, it is not an issue with your neighbor problem, it is a community problem.”
Community input will help inform the development team and will be incorporated into a draft plan that should be available for public review in early 2023. Ellie Insley, one of the community champions leading the effort said, “To date, we now have several neighborhood leaders, and we appreciate their efforts, but we need more participation.”
The goals for the meeting are to:
● Introduce the development team
● Describe the potential benefits of having a plan
● Summarize the CWPP process and potential outcomes.
● Describe what we have done so far, and what still needs to be completed.
● Provide an opportunity for collaborative discussion between the development team and community residents about concerns related to wildfire risk.
“It does take all the stakeholders coming together and forming CWPP’s and working in the community on fuels reduction projects, or whatever it might need, to alleviate some of these challenges during wildland fires,” Benguerel said.
Fire Safe Sonoma, formed in 1998, is Sonoma County’s countywide fire safe council and is part of the California Fire Safe Council. For more information, visit FireSafeSonoma.org.