Improving community resilience to wildfire

Posted: Jan. 26, 2017

Guidelines released on Jan. 18 for federal agencies on mitigating wildfire risk can also help non-federal agencies enhance wildfire resilience within their communities.

homes destroyed by wildfire

Within the last 100 years in the U.S., six of the top 10 most damaging single fire events involving structures were Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) fires.

The WUI is continuing to grow at approximately 2 million acres per year.

How these guidelines can help local communities

The Wildland Urban Interface Federal Risk Mitigation Executive Order (EO) 13728 PDF 312 KB released on May 18, 2016, aims to mitigate wildfire risks to federal buildings located in the WUI, reduce risks to people, and help minimize property loss to wildfire.

While the EO applies only to federal buildings located on federal land, the guidelines can serve as a model for non-federal agencies looking to enhance wildfire resilience within their communities through the awareness, adoption and enforcement of WUI building codes.

The guidelines also identify resources and tools to estimate wildfire risk and determine whether buildings are located within the WUI.

Download the Implementation Guidelines for Executive Order 13728 – Wildland Urban Interface Federal Risk Management PDF 514 KB

About the guidelines

The EO states that for new federal buildings, and alterations to existing federal buildings greater than 5,000 square feet, within the WUI and at moderate or greater risk to wildfire, federal agencies should apply the wildfire-resistant design provisions outlined in the current edition of the International Wildland Urban Interface Code or an equivalent, nationally recognized code.

The EO and implementation guide provide federal agencies with guidance to protect their facilities from the risks of wildfires. Protection of public and private property in the WUI is the largest cost driver for both federal and state wildfire suppression operations. Loss of federal investments due to wildfires can be reduced if appropriate design and site considerations are employed. These typically add little or no additional cost.

More information on the web

This summary is for informational purposes only. More +
As such, the content does not reflect any official positions, policies, or guidelines on behalf of the sender, the U.S. Fire Administration, FEMA, DHS, nor any other federal agencies, departments or contracting entities. Similarly, this summary does not represent in any manner an official endorsement or relationship to any private or public companies, organizations/associations, or any authors or individuals cited or websites associated within the article.

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