This article argues that better land-use planning can work in tandem with suppression efforts and other mitigation measures to reduce wildfire risk to homes and communities. The author highlights that:
- As development grows within wildfire-prone areas and as wildfires increase in size and severity, we must expand our traditional thinking to envision a future living alongside wildfires. Land use planning offers a unique opportunity to mitigate wildfire risks because it is predicated on a scenario where homes and neighbourhoods are designed to survive a wildfire disaster.
- Attempting to extinguish all wildfires is costly, dangerous, and unrealistic. Homes and communities need to be conceived ahead of time to withstand a wildfire. Application of land use planning tools is one option for communities to become better fire-adapted and resilient in the face of increasing wildfire potential.
- Efforts like the Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire (CPAW) and other programs working with local communities and homeowners on wildfire mitigation stress the importance of anticipating wildfire occurrence rather than relying exclusively on wildfire suppression.