Addressing Community Wildfire Risk

Published on February 7, 2012
Fire Protection Research Foundation report: "Addressing Community Wildfire Risk: A Review and Assessment of Regulatory and Planning Tools" (PDF)
Author: Chris Duerksen, Don Elliott and Paul Anthony, Clarion Associates, Denver, CO
Date of issue: December 2011


The risk of catastrophic fire occurrence in the wildland urban interface (WUI) is a major issue in today’s fire protection community. There are many potential tools for zoning administrators, planners, and fire/emergency managers to consider when addressing their community’s wildfire risk. These tools include comprehensive planning, land use regulation, building codes and standards, voluntary programs (e.g., Firewise Communities/USA recognition program), Community Wildfire Protection Plans, and hazard mitigation planning.


The focus of this study is to review and assess the effectiveness of regulatory planning tools designed to address community wildfire risk, and to communicate lessons learned to communities considering such regulation. The project deliverables define the WUI regulatory landscape through the identification of regulatory tools, categorization of these tools, and their evaluation to clarify their effectiveness.