Wildland Urban Interface
Short video (2:39).
Learn 5 key areas around your home to inspect when assessing your property’s wildfire risk.
Results were largely consistent with previously literature, finding that structural hardness factors (e.g. double-paned windows, enclosed eaves, ignition-resistant roofs and siding, no vents, etc.) are important in determining structure survival. Newer structures, built after California’s recent (2005 and 2007) fire safe building code updates, were more likely to survive, as were homes with higher improvement values. Mobile homes were far more likely to be destroyed. The role of fuel mitigation around structures was less conclusive; defensible space clearance had only a weak association with structure survival, although DINS+DSPACE results suggested a slight reduction in risk due to removing leaves and needles from gutters/roofs and keeping surrounding dead grass mowed.
Destructive wildfires are now a real threat in regions across the country and beyond what was once considered as the fire season, examples of which are the 2016 Gatlinburg Fire in the Southeast and the 2021 Marshall Fire in late December. Existing wildfire risk assessment procedures typically use simulation modeling to quantify the wildfire exposure to wildland-urban interface (WUI) communities, but rely on subjective estimates of the susceptibility of structures to fire in order to quantify risk. Thus, there is a need to better understand and characterize the effectiveness of different mitigation actions related to individual structure features and community layout on the resilience of a WUI community to fire. This presentation discusses findings from the analyses of past wildfire events and introduces a streamlined model to capture fire spread inside WUI communities to quantify structural damage. The proposed model can be used to guide mitigation actions in existing and new communities, and inform preparedness and response strategies by evaluating the likelihood of successful suppression based on the rate of fire spread.
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Forests in western North America are shaped by fire and — for the past century or more — by the absence of it. After more than a century of fire exclusion and under a rapidly changing climate, fire behavior has changed, and damage from wildfire is increasing. With more than a century of forest and fire science to build on, scientists, managers, and communities are refining management options for reducing risks to communities and ecosystems.
As it is already set by tradition, the Conference in Coimbra, Portugal, aims to provide an up to date on the developments in forest fire science and technology and an opportunity to meet persons and institutions, to promote international cooperation in this research and management area.
Following its previous editions, the scope of this Conference will cover the main topics related to fire management in a research perspective. There will be six major themes for you to present your work, each of them with several sub-topics, that you can find here on the website. The themes are related to Fire at the Wildland Urban Interface, Fire Risk Management, Decision Support Systems and Tools, Fire Management, Fuel Management and Socio Economic Issues. These themes are not restricted and we are open to other subjects that are proposed, as well.
Two courses, the VI Short Course on Fire Safety and the IX Short Course on Forest Fire Behaviour, will be held before the Conference, as related but separate events.
The IBHS test chamber is a unique facility to study the effects of wind on fire. The test chamber area is equal to four basketball courts which allows researchers to perform large scale wind and fire tests. The test chamber is equipped with 105 fans that can generate gusty wind ranging from 12 to 120 mph. In this presentation, we will share our experience on creating realistic gusty wind and its effects on full-scale fire tests. Then, we will talk about our ongoing collaborative research projects with USFS, NIST and Cal Fire. Finally, we will describe our role in building codes and public policy.