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The City of Chico, located where the Northern Sacramento Valley meets the foothills of the Southern Cascade mountains, is not unfamiliar with catastrophic wildfire. The deadly and destructive Camp Fire in 2018 nearly burned into city limits, and many other large fires have burned in the foothills east of town in the past. Recent urban conflagrations including the 2017 Tubbs Fire and 2021 Marshall fire have illuminated the potential for high-consequence wildfire events to occur in densely-built urban landscapes.
The 2003 Healthy Forest Restoration Act encourages communities like Chico to collaboratively develop Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs) to assess their wildfire threats and identify specific areas for targeted vegetation management to reduce exposure to destructive wildfires. CWPPs can also propose improvements in wildland firefighting capacity, public engagement, or other activities which improve community wildfire resilience. The primary administrative function of CWPPs is to act as a living “project list.”