CWPP Terms & Definitions

Defensible Space: The selection, location, grouping, and maintenance of vegetation on a property in a manner that the opportunity for fire to burn to a structure is minimized.

Desirable Ecological Conditions: The condition of an ecosystem that land managers have determined to be the most appropriate based on science, best practices, and land management objectives.

Ecosystem: A biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment.

Exposure: The contact of an entity, asset, resource, or geographic area with a potential hazard.

Fire Adapted Community: A community consisting of informed and prepared citizens collaboratively planning and taking action to safely coexist with wildland fire.

Did you know?

The biggest wildfire in recorded US history is the 1825 Miramichi Fire in Maine. It blazed through an estimated 3,000,000 million acres and claimed at least 160 lives. 

Mitigation: The act of modifying the environment or human behavior to reduce potential adverse impacts from a natural hazard such as a wildfire. Mitigation actions are implemented to reduce or eliminate risks to persons, property, or natural resources.

Prevention: Activities directed at reducing the incidence of fires, including public education, law enforcement, personal contact, and reduction of fuel hazards (fuels management).

Fire Regime: Description of the patterns of fire occurrences, frequency, size, severity, and sometimes vegetation and fire effects, in a given area or ecosystem. A fire regime is generalization based on fire histories at individual sites. Fire regimes can often be described as cycles because some parts of the history usually get repeated, and the repetitions can be counted and measured, such as fire return interval.

Risk Assessment: Product or process that collects information and assigns values to risks for the purpose of informing priorities, developing or comparing courses of action, and informing decision making.

Structure Ignition Zone: The area around a specific structure and associated accessory structures, including all vegetation that contains potential ignition sources and fuels.

Suppression: A wildfire response strategy to “put the fire out” as efficiently and effectively as possible while providing for firefighter and public safety.

Values: Items identified by a community as having measurable or intrinsic worth that could be negatively impacted by a wildfire. Values include property, structures, physical improvements, natural and cultural resources, community infrastructure, and economic, environmental, and social values.

Wildland Fuels: All vegetation (natural and cultivated).

Wildfire: An unplanned wildland fire, including unauthorized human-caused fires and escaped prescribed fire projects. Wildfire management objectives may vary based on site-specific circumstances and conditions.

Wildfire Risk: The wildfire hazard plus the addition of the factors that contribute to wildfire susceptibility, or the impact of a wildfire on highly valued resources and assets.