Wildland Urban Interface

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Wildfire Resilient Structures (WiReS) Conference and Tradeshow

Conference website.

The Wildfire Resilient Structures (WiReS) conference addresses the WUI fire risk problems inherent to the built environment to support resilient and equitable communities. With a shared goal of implementation through education, the WiReS conference will make local, regional, and state impact through the presentation and promotion of applied science, knowledge, and technology advancements to Decision Makers.

Location: Mission Valley, San Diego, California
Venue & Hotel Name: Town and Country Resort

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Regulating Colorado’s WUI

Webinar recording.

This webinar features insights and lessons from three communities in Colorado —the City of Colorado Springs, Eagle County, and Ouray County— and their successful approaches to local adoption and enforcement of wildfire regulations. This webinar is based on a new report from the Community Wildfire Planning Center, Regulating the Wildland-Urban Interface in Colorado.

WUI Resource Collections

Wildland Urban Interface- Resource Collections

Check out our collection of resources addressing the many factors associated with and impacting fuels, fire, and life in the wildland urban interface (WUI).

Development in the WUI

Social and Behavioral Aspects of the WUI

Structure Protection in the WUI

WUI Fire Risk

WUI Fuels/Fuel Treatments

WUI Fire Behavior/Fire Response

WUI Economics

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Integrating Potential Operational Delineations (PODs) into community wildfire protection plans

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After they have been delineated, PODs are essentially big boxes on the landscape that illustrate where fire could potentially be contained. Collaborators can then use CWPPs and other planning processes to fill those boxes with a wide variety of local and statewide spatial data about expected fire behavior, homes, infrastructure, and other values at risk to inform where resources should be expended to protect community values. Because PODs delineate where fires are likely to be contained, they can help operationalize CWPPs. Like CWPPs, PODs institutionalize knowledge and can be used to create a variety of maps and spatial data products. However, the real value of PODs and CWPPs comes from the collaborative processes used to create them, the interagency coordination and conversations they facilitate, and their power as communication tools between communities, land  management agencies, and other stakeholders. By incorporating the PODs framework into a new or updated CWPP, a community is able to incorporate the latest science and use an operationally based planning framework that is broadly adopted and supported by federal agencies.

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Probabilistic wildfire risk estimates for individual real estate parcels for the contiguous US

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Historical wildfire ignition locations and NOAA’s hourly time series of surface weather at 2.5 km resolution are used to drive ELMFIRE to produce wildfire hazards representative of the 2022 and 2052 conditions at 30 m resolution, with the future weather conditions scaled to the IPCC CMIP5 RCP4.5 model ensemble predictions. Winds and vegetation were held constant between the 2022 and 2052 simulations, and climate change’s impacts on the future fuel conditions are the main contributors to the changes observed in the 2052 results. Non-zero wildfire exposure is estimated for 71.8 million out of 140 million properties across CONUS. Climate change impacts add another 11% properties to this non-zero exposure class over the next 30 years, with much of this change observed in the forested areas east of the Mississippi River. “Major” aggregate wildfire exposure of greater than 6% over the 30-year analysis period from 2022 to 2052 is estimated for 10.2 million properties. The FSF-WFM represents a notable contribution to the ability to produce property-specific, climate-adjusted wildfire risk assessments in the US.

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Reviewing the socio-demographic and environmental justice aspects of the wildfire literature

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We reviewed the socio-demographic dimensions of the wildfire literature using an environmental justice (EJ) lens. Specifically using a literature review of wildfires, human communities, social vulnerability, and homeowner mitigation, we conducted bibliometric and statistical analyses of 299 publications. The majority of publications were from the United States, followed by Canada and Australia, and most dealt with homeowner mitigation of risk, defensible space, and fuel treatments in WUI areas. Most publications studied the direct effects of wildfire related damage. Secondary impacts such as smoke, rural and urban communities, and the role of poverty and language were less studied. Based on a proposed wildfire-relevant EJ definition, the first EJ publication was in 2004, but the term was first used as a keyword in 2018. Studies in WUI communities statistically decreased the likelihood that a publication was EJ relevant. There was a significant relationship between EJ designation and inclusion of race/ethnicity and poverty variables in the study. Complexity across the various definitions of EJ suggest that it should not be used as a quantitative or binary metric; but as a lens to better understand socio-ecological impacts to diverse communities. We present a wildfire-relevant definition to potentially guide policy formulation and account for social and environmental justice issues.

Webinar, video, audio icon

An Introduction to the Fire Adapted Communities Pathways Tool

Webinar recording.

Join FAC Net and Travis Paveglio as they present the new Fire Adapted Communities Pathways Tool. The Fire Adapted Communities Pathways Tool helps users identify a range of fire adaptation practices and resources that research and experience indicate are more likely to work in the places they live.

Learn more about the tool (or download it in advance of the presentation) here: https://fireadaptednetwork.org/resources/fac-pathways-tool/

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2023 Wildland Urban Interface Conference

Conference website.

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WUI: A look at issues and resolutions

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In developing this report, a cross-functional group of stakeholders and subject matter experts (SMEs) from across the nation convened to identify 33 challenges within 13 key WUI issues and develop recommendations to address each challenge. In total, 112 recommendations are presented. These recommendations address challenges in firefighter health and safety, public health and safety, evacuations, forest and rangeland health and resiliency, climate change, community planning and resiliency, infrastructure and utilities, communication strategy and engagement operations, socioeconomic impacts, recovery, emerging technology, data use and modeling, and risk management in wildland fire. The recommendations should be pursued together, forming a system of strategies that require urgent, sustained and actionable implementations. These recommendations are not quick fixes, but solutions for the long term. Leadership on and commitment to the implementation of these recommendations results in a safer America.

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The WUI in the US based on 125 million building locations

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For wildfire risk mapping and for general purposes, WUI maps based on the 500-m neighborhood represent the original Federal Register definition of the WUI; these maps include clusters of buildings in and adjacent to wildlands and exclude remote, isolated buildings. Our approach for mapping the WUI offers flexibility and high spatial detail and can be widely applied to take advantage of the growing availability of high-resolution building footprint data sets and classification methods.

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