Counties draft plans on wildfire protection, seek public comment

Elk and McKean counties are asking residents to review drafts of Community Wildfire Protection Plans that have been developed for each county and to offer comments.

The plans have been developed by a “core team” of stakeholders including representatives from county planning, county and local fire departments, the U.S. Forest Service, state Bureau of Forestry and other land management agencies.

The team has been meeting since November 2016 to discuss areas most prone to wildfire and identify actions that are needed to reduce the risk of wildfire to residents in each county.

A Community Wildfire Protection Plan identifies areas at risk for wildland fire and makes recommendations for vegetation-thinning treatments and other mitigation actions homeowners can take to reduce wildfire risk.

A key part of the planning process is to engage the community in planning and decision making.

The public is encouraged to provide comments on the drafts during a two-week review period.

The documents will be available for review from Tuesday through Oct. 3; during this time the documents may be accessed via the following links:

• www.co.elk.pa.us

• www.mckeancountypa.org

Public comments on the documents should be submitted to Project Manager Victoria Amato at vamato@swca.com.

Written comments also may be submitted to:

• Elk County Planning Department: Jodi Foster, planning director, Elk County Courthouse Annex, 300 Center St., P.O. Box 448, Ridgway, PA 15853.

• McKean County Planning Department: Jeremy Morey, planning director, McKean County Planning Commission, 17137 Route 6, Smethport, PA  16749

All comments must be received by 5 p.m. Oct. 3.

COMMENTS