Town of Barnes
Town of Barnes, WI
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CWPP Plan Summary

Introduction
This summary document presents a preface to the plan and highlights the plan's general content and recommendations. Readers should refer to the full plan and supporting documentation for more detailed information.

What is a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP)?
A CWPP is a community-based planning and prioritization process for a community in an "at-risk" area from wildfire. The planning process helps communities establish local priorities for life, property and critical infrastructure within the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI).

What are the Planning Requirements?
The Federal Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 (HFRA) establishes three minimum requirements for a CWPP. The first is for collaboration in plan development. A CWPP must be developed as a collaborative effort between local and state government, in consultation with Federal agencies and other interested parties. A CWPP must also identify and prioritize areas for hazardous fuels reduction treatments and recommend types and methods of treatment that will protect one or more at-risk communities and critical infrastructure. Finally, a CWPP must recommend measures which private landowners and communities can utilize to reduce structural ignitability within the planning area.

Why develop a Community Wildfire Protection Plan for Barnes & Drummond?
Recent wildfire events in the State of Wisconsin and across the country have heightened awareness of the destructive potential of wildfire. Residents of Barnes and Drummond and local community leaders have become increasingly aware of the tangible wildfire threat facing their communities. In light of this threat, the Towns elected to engage in a collaborative planning process with state, county and Federal partners to identify strategies and priorities for the protection of life, property, and natural resources.

How is the plan organized?
The Barnes-Drummond CWPP contains narrative and maps along with a compilation of goals, programs and courses of action, including hazardous fuels reduction measures, aimed at reducing the communities' risk from wildfire.

How was risk identified?
A computer-based (GIS) wildfire risk model was developed to analyze wildfire risk in the Town's of Barnes and Drummond. The model structure was based on similar approaches used in other communities and incorporates five separate inputs to evaluate community risk relative, including:

  1. Fuel hazards (vegetative fuels present)
  2. Risk of wildfire occurrence (locations of previous wildfires)
  3. Essential infrastructure at risk (homes, businesses, power, communication facilities, etc.)
  4. Other community values at risk (areas with scenic, recreational, economic or cultural value)
  5. Local preparedness and firefighting capability (road access, distance from fire stations, distance from water sources)

Each of the five inputs was assigned a "weighting value" by the communities, ranging from 0 to 100%. The weights used were based on the percent influence each of the factors contributed to overall wildfire risk, totaling 100% between all the factors.

Fuel hazards = 30%
Risk of wildfire occurrence = 30%
Essential infrastructure at risk = 20%
Other community values at risk = 10%
Local preparedness and firefighting capability = 10%

What did the model indicate and how was it used?
When the various factors were overlayed using weighted values, the output was reclassified to indicate the relative level of risk (low to high). While the results vary by location, the model clearly indicates a high level of risk in large portions of the project area. The results of the wildfire risk assessment are shown on the accompanying map A (Final Overlay). The model results are a tool to measure the relative level of risk across the project area, and were used as part of the protocol for establishing the community planning units.

Mapping the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI)
The Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) identifies areas where structures and human development intermingle with undeveloped wildlands. The project area WUI was mapped using statewide data in conjunction with local tax parcel information. Maps generated from this data illustrate the WUI as either interface or intermix areas. Interface WUI, or interface communities, are areas with housing in the vicinity of contiguous wildland vegetation, while the intermix WUI defines areas where housing and vegetation intermingle. In both areas, housing unit density exceeds or is equal to 1 home per 40 acres. The project area WUI is depicted in the accompanying Map B.

Effective vegetation management within the WUI provides for increased public safety and property protection. In the Barnes-Drummond project, the mapped WUI provided the basis for the formulation of several locally-targeted hazardous fuels reduction priorities and projects (See Tables 1 & 2).

Planning Units
Within the Barnes-Drummond project area, the rural population centers within the WUI represent the "at-risk" communities. To provide for a more focused overall community plan, the project area was subdivided into 10 individual planning units. With the exception of the Wilderness Area, the planning units encompass local population and development clusters. The Wilderness Area (Rainbow Lake Wilderness & Flynn Lake Wilderness Study Area) was selected as a planning unit due to the unique vegetation management concerns associated with federally designated wilderness (use of mechanized equipment, vehicles, etc.).

Drummond Barnes
Community of Drummond Potawatomi Estates
Drummond South Eau Claire Lakes North
Forest Boundary Eau Claire Lakes South
Lake Owen Eight Mile Lake
Pigeon Lake
Wilderness Area

Each of the planning units was assigned a hazard rating score using the mean value of the wildfire hazard model within each unit. The scores of all of the units were sorted into 4 classes on an equal interval scale, ranging from low to very high. The unit with the lowest score was the Wilderness Area (less development, lower hazard fuels). The highest scores were associated with the Eight Mile Lake, Potawatomi Estates and Eau Claire Lakes North planning units. These areas had relatively high levels of development and infrastructure and/or contained very high hazard fuels.

Pages 43-51 of the full plan describes, in detail, the composition of forest fuels and associated fire hazards for each planning unit. Several potential vegetation treatment activities and other mitigation measures are also described. This guidance is not prescriptive; rather it outlines a range of potential implementation options. The following tables illustrate site specific hazardous fuels reduction projects to be implemented on county and National Forest lands.

Adoption
The HFRA requires local governments, local fire department(s) and the state forestry management agency (WDNR) to sign off on the final contents of a CWPP. Signatures were obtained from all entities in December of 2005, preceding formal adoption by the Town's of Barnes (12/20/05) and Drummond (12/14/05).

How will the plan be used?
The CWPP provides the basic framework for the communities' wildfire protection and prevention strategy. The plan identifies several hazardous fuels reduction projects on Forest Service and Bayfield County Forest lands. Both agencies have begun implementing these projects, and intend to continue implementing projects in the future.

The CWPP will also be used to apply for grants for hazardous fuels reduction and wildfire prevention projects. Many grant programs require communities to have plans in place to be eligible for funding. The overall effectiveness of the CWPP will depend upon implementation of the plan's recommendations, actions and activities. The activities and action items contained in the plan provide a framework to build a strong partnership between the public agencies and the Town's.

How can I get a copy of the full plan?
Copies of the full plan are available for download on the Northwest Regional Planning Commission (NWRPC) web site at http://www.nwrpc.com/ .


Who can I talk with for more information about the plan and its implementation?
Mark Jerome
Drummond Volunteer Fire Department Chief
(715) 739-6741
Jay Gallagher
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
(715) 372-8539 or (715) 685-2900
Kirby Dernovsek
Bayfield County Forestry Department
(715) 373-6114
Chris Worth
Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest
(715) 373-2667

 
The notices, agendas, minutes and postings on the Town website are for informational purposes only. They may not be the most current version and therefore are NOT considered the official or legal copy.
CONTACT THE TOWN
715-795-2782
Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri. 8:00 AM - Noon
[email protected]
3360 County Highway N, Barnes, WI 54873

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