Wildland urban interface (WUI)

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Explore these resources to:

  • Create and sustain a fire-adapted community located within a WUI.
  • Find out how to develop a community wildfire protection plan.
  • Help your fire department increase community awareness about preventing WUI fires.
  • Learn about new and emerging technology for wildland fire incident response.
  • Read about the latest in WUI research.
  • Prepare more effectively for response to WUI fires.

In addition, our WUI toolkit contains recommended and trusted resources from other agencies and organizations that will help your fire department prepare for, and respond to, WUI fires.

Our latest article

wildfire on a hillside with houses in the foreground

How to create a Community Wildfire Protection Plan

Use our new guide with form-fillable templates to create a Community Wildfire Protection Plan for your community.

The wildland urban interface is an area where human made structures and infrastructure (e.g., cell towers, schools, water supply facilities, etc.) are in or adjacent to areas prone to wildfire.

WUI and COVID-19

Frequently Asked Questions for Wildland Firefighters. Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention specific to wildland firefighters and COVID-19, including crew isolation, infection control and testing.

Protect thy neighbor: messaging to encourage wildfire preparedness

Across the United States many communities such as Ogden, Utah, Gold Canyon, Arizona and Klamath County, Oregon, are experiencing wildfires. Because of COVID-19, wildland firefighting is even more challenging.

It is also more challenging for residents in wildfire-prone regions because they are unable to work with fire departments and other community organizations on projects that create conditions to improve wildfire safety. To help during this time, encourage your residents to prepare their homes and property individually for a possible wildfire.

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) study, Protect Thy Neighbor: Investigating the Spatial Externalities of Wildfire Hazard Mitigation, individual homeowner efforts can make a huge difference not only in the survivability of their own homes, but in their neighbors' homes as well.

NIST developed a model of interdependent household wildfire risk and examined its implications for a hypothetical fire-prone community. One of the amazing results of the study was the determination that one person's wildfire prevention efforts can positively impact the outcome of their neighbors' homes.

Encourage residents in your community to prepare their homes and property until they can work together on community wildfire safety projects. Use USFA's social media cards to host a “virtual community clean-up day.” Together, these individual efforts can make a huge difference in a community's outcome during a wildfire event.

WUI expansion

The WUI grew rapidly from 1990 to 2010, with increases of 41% in homes and 33% in land, making it the fastest growing land use type in the lower 48 states.

Source: U.S. Forest Service
icon with a house, trees and a red arrow pointing up

Training opportunities

National Fire Academy courses will provide you with the ability to create and sustain a fire-adapted community. Land-use planning, code adoption, evacuation planning, wildland fire behavior, foundational wildland firefighting skills, and command and control are covered.

Explore National Fire Academy WUI courses

Featured course

wildland firefighters walking through a field with a fire in the background
Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior (NWCG S-190)
Through this online self-study course, you will learn how:
  • Wildfire starts and spreads.
  • To recognize hazardous situations.

Outreach materials

Help your community plan for, respond to, and recover from the devastating effects of a wildland, grass or forest fire.

Order or download print and social media outreach materials

WUI neighborhood in New Jersey

WUI fires: before, during and after

Information about what communities need to know before, during and after a WUI fire.

Explore what to do

NETC library

Get a head start on your WUI research project with these reference materials from the National Emergency Training Center's library.

Browse library WUI topics


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Wildfire Readiness
This timely book examines what scientists know about wildfires, whether we can predict them, and how we learn from each event.
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WUI articles

wildfire on a hillside with houses in the foreground

How to create a Community Wildfire Protection Plan

Posted: June 24, 2020

Learn about the history behind the development of Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs), the key components, how a CWPP can benefit a community at risk from wildfire, and how to create a plan for your community.

park in the foreground with wildfire smoke in the background

Addressing wildland fire challenges

Posted: April 21, 2020

The National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy helps local fire departments and residents in wildfire-prone regions to create cities and neighborhoods that can survive wildfire events.

homes burning on a hillside during a wildfire

Wildland Urban Interface Chief's Guide

Posted: April 4, 2019

This guide walks fire chiefs and other officials through wildfire planning using the four phases of emergency management: preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation.

youth volunteers helping with forest cleanup

Working with youth groups to reduce community wildfire risk

Posted: March 7, 2019

Community wildfire risk reduction is more effective when the whole community is involved. Getting homeowners, civic groups and religious institutions involved goes a long way, but another audience that can be rewarding to work with is youth groups.

wildland firefighters walking through a field with a wildfire in the background

Mendocino Complex Fire after action review and lessons learned

Posted: Feb. 28, 2019

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, U.S Forest Service and the Los Angeles Fire Department published a joint paper on last year's Mendocino Complex Fire, discussing openly the multitude of problems facing teams assigned to the incident.

wildland firefighter using a hose

Wildland firefighting and the NIFC

Posted: Aug. 11, 2017

Learn about the role that the National Interagency Fire Center plays in wildland firefighting and keeping firefighters safe.

WUI toolkit

This collection of recommended resources will help your fire department prepare for, and respond to, WUI fires. Included are outreach materials, training courses, assessment tools, and links to the latest WUI research studies.

Explore toolkit resources

Technology applications for WUI response

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has outlined how new and existing technologies can improve operational capabilities and incident response to save lives in WUI fires.

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