Our Vision

In a fire adapted community, wildfire is part of the landscape but no lives are lost or homes destroyed. Incentives for firebreaks, cluster development, landscape treatments, development and design standards, subdivision regulations, and other planning tools are successively applied. Wildfire costs are minimized and agency budgets are spent on recovery and restoration. As a result of good land use planning, wildfire has played its role in promoting landscape resiliency, forest fuels are reduced, and the community has safer developments.

Established in 2015 by Headwaters Economics and Wildfire Planning International, Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire (CPAW) works with communities to reduce wildfire risks through improved land use planning.

CPAW is a grant-funded program providing communities with professional assistance to integrate wildfire mitigation into the development planning process. The CPAW consulting team consists of foresters, land use planners, economists, and wildfire risk modelers who collaborate closely with community leaders and city officials to reduce wildfire risk. Read more about how we work and the communities we’ve worked with so-far, or check out our 2018 Program Report for an overview of our strategies and successes.

Firetopia : Creating a Fire-Adapted Community

The Problem


  • The wildland-urban interface (WUI) continues to be developed.
  • Climate change exacerbates the frequency and intensity of wildfires.
  • More money is spent on protecting homes, lives, and property from wildfires.
  • The burden on state and federal budgets is increased.
  • Firefighters’ lives are endangered.

The Solution


  • Homes in wildfire-prone areas are safer and more valuable through improved land use planning.
  • It’s not about removing fire from the landscape.
  • It’s not about telling people what not to do.
  • It’s not about stopping all development.
  • It’s about reducing community risk to wildfires through safer development.

The Result


  • Insurance rates are affordable.
  • The city/county tax base is protected.
  • No firefighting injuries or deaths result from defending homes.
  • Government agencies spend less on firefighting and more on forest health and fuel reduction.

The CPAW program is a joint partnership between Wildfire Planning International and Headwaters Economics. It is funded by grants from U.S. Forest Service, the LOR Foundation, and other private foundations.

In accordance with Federal law and the U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.