Research

Pathways for Building Fire Spread in the Wildland Urban Interface

There are many potential pathways for wildland fires to ignite buildings within the WUI.  These pathways (including both fire and ember exposure) depend on the characteristics of the wildland (e.g., fuels, terrain, weather, etc.), the characteristics of the community (e.g., construction materials, building designs, housing density, landscaping, etc.), and the characteristics of the interface (e.g., separation distance, physical barriers, extent of perimeter, etc.).  NFPA Standard 1144, Standard for Reducing Structure Ignition Hazards from Wildland Fire, and NFPA 1141, Standard for Fire Protection Infrastructure for Land Development in Wildland, Rural, and Suburban Areas, address hazards to structures at the wildland interface and appropriate mitigation measures. Understanding the pathways above and their contribution to fire risk will help inform future editions of these NFPA standards.

The project goal is to identify pathways for fire spread at the wildland urban interface and identify gaps in information to inform prevention and protection strategies.