After a year of intensive collaboration with the local communities and stakeholders, the Santa Monica Mountains Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) is ready for public comment now through Sept. 15, 2010, federal officials said.

The purpose of the CWPP is to help local communities collaborate with agencies, organizations and homeowners to mitigate wildfire hazards, improve community preparedness, address defensible space and structure integrity and implement wildfire safety projects that will make a difference in their community.

A CWPP also improves the strength of grant proposals because it provides a collaborative process, addresses hazardous fuels reduction and focuses on a structure’s resistance to wildfire.

“The county, state and federal fire plans provide communities with a tremendous opportunity to implement fire hazard reduction in their neighborhoods,” said J. Lopez of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. “A Community Wildfire Protection Plan is the most effective way to take advantage of this opportunity,”

Over 20 meetings were held in the Santa Monica Mountains.

“Our community, Topanga Canyon, has already benefited from the CWPP,” said Beth Burnam, North Topanga Canyon Fire Safe Council co-president and Topanga resident. “The process of having open meetings for all concerned residents has brought people together who otherwise would never meet each other. As a result of meeting each other, Topanga Canyon has a number of Fire Safe Councils that are either formed or in the process of forming,”

The final draft of the Santa Monica Mountains CWPP is available at forevergreenforestry.com/SantaMonicaMountainsCWPP.html.

Send comments in writing to:

Attention: J. Lopez, deputy forester

county of Los Angeles Fire Department

Forestry Division, Fire Plan Unit

12605 Osborne St., Pacoima, 91331-2129

Please send e-mail comments to: santamonicamountainscwpp@gmail.com.

Local CWPP representatives will host a series of short informational presentations during the week of Aug. 16 at the following locations:

• Malibu City Council Chambers,

23805 Stuart Ranch Road, Malibu, 90265

Aug. 18, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

• Malibu West Beach Club,

30756 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, 90265

Aug. 20, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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