NFPA releases new WUI best practices guide for planners and regulators

Published on April 25, 2013
“Community Wildfire Safety Through Regulation” highlights key planning tools to reduce wildfire risk

April 25, 2013 – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) announced the release of a new best practices guide, Community Wildfire Safety Through Regulation. The guide is designed to help planners and regulators considering wildfire regulations to understand their options and implement a successful public process for adoption effective wildland/urban interface (WUI) tools that match local needs. Community Wildfire Safety Through Regulation is available through NFPA’s wildland fire safety web page.

Wildfire hazard is a growing threat to communities around the United States. According to the National Association of State Foresters (NASF), more than 72,000 communities are at risk. While living closer to nature offers many benefits, the risk of brush, grass or forest fires often gets overlooked. Recent research on global climate change indicates that losses as a result of wildfire will only increase in the coming decades.

Traditionally, the role of reducing wildfire risk has been left up to fire departments or districts, but planners are distinctly qualified to assist communities in creating a more inclusive approach to wildfire safety preparedness by helping to change the location, design and type of development in high-risk zones.

Community Wildfire Safety Through Regulation summarizes many of the key planning, subdivision and zoning tools that planners can use to help protect their communities from wildfire. The guide also provides: 

  • Sound technical and legal justifications for adoption of wildfire regulations for planners and public officials
  • Tips on what planners should do before the community embarks on a formal wildfire safety regulation adoption process
  • Guidance for communities to evaluate their wildfire safety needs and choose tools that fit those needs
  • A summary of best practices used around the country to address wildfire risk in the WUI

Community Wildfire Safety Through Regulation is based on a recently completed study, Addressing Community Wildfire Risk:  A Review and Assessment of Regulatory and Planning Tools, commissioned by NFPA that includes in-depth interviews and extensive analysis of best practices for wildfire regulations in communities across the country.

For more information and to download a copy of Community Wildfire Safety Through Regulation, visit NFPA’s wildland fire safety web page.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. NFPA develops more than 300 codes and standards to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other hazards. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed at no cost at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.

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Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275

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