Gaviota Coast Community Wildfire Protection Plan

The Santa Barbara County Fire Safe Council was awarded a CAL FIRE grant to develop a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) for the Gaviota Coast community. Dudek prepared the CWPP, which evaluates the area’s fire environment and identifies vegetation management projects and other actions to reduce wildfire threat.

Project Facts
  • Santa Barbara County Fire Safe Council
  • Santa Barbara County, CA
  • Plan covers more than 100,000 acres
  • Long history of damaging wildfires in the area
  • CWPP approved and adopted in February 2023

The Challenge

The Gaviota Coast faces significant wildfire risk due to steep and varied terrain, a mosaic of different vegetation types, and mixed land uses, including agricultural, ranching, recreation, residential, conservation, and industrial. Additionally, limited communication capabilities and narrow, winding road networks pose evacuation challenges.

The Solution

Dudek performed a technical wildfire analysis using GIS-based wildfire hazard modeling tools to model burn probability, fire intensity, and spotting potential under extreme wind and weather conditions. Results from the analysis influenced an Action Plan, which presents a series of implementation recommendations like vegetation management, structural ignitability reduction, community education, and establishment of property access agreements to facilitate evacuations.

The Impact

While tailored to the Gaviota Coast, the CWPP sets a benchmark for responsible wildfire protection planning supported by science and broad community support. Tenets of the Action Plan have the potential to be transferred to other regions with similar characteristics. The Action Plan effectively addresses the unique wildland fire challenges of a dispersed, intermixed landscape and proposes actionable recommendations beyond vegetation management.

What We Did

Our multidisciplinary specialties allow us to provide efficiencies that maintain project momentum.

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Santa Barbara Community Wildfire Protection Plan Update and Program EIR

The City of Santa Barbara was awarded a CAL FIRE grant to update their Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) and craft a Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) for plan implementation. Dudek prepared the PEIR and CWPP, as well as facilitated virtual public outreach to inform both processes.

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