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.

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 outreach materials

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.

WUI fire during a pandemic: it's happened before

Is it possible to adequately respond to wildfires and a pandemic at the same time? What would happen if many people were displaced by a natural disaster while working to promote social distancing?

In 1918, Duluth, Minnesota faced pandemic, fire and World War I. Northern Minnesota took steps to protect the public from the Spanish Flu by banning gatherings and closing public buildings, but a wildfire then displaced thousands of people. Public buildings took in refugees and quickly became crowded. This led to further spread of the flu virus.

The lessons learned from the past are worth considering when making plans to respond to local disasters. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has information and resources, including grant programs, that can help your jurisdiction plan and prepare for the present and the future.

2020 wildfire season impacted by COVID-19

The spread of COVID-19 may affect the ability of fire service personnel to respond to wildfires this year. The potential risk for a difficult wildfire season is high due to less than normal rain and snow amounts in the mountains of northern California.

Some firefighters in areas like Fresno, California, and elsewhere have already been impacted by COVID-19 infection and quarantine due to close living quarters. Training opportunities have also been cancelled.

The increased risk of wildfire and lack of resources make it more important than ever for communities to be fire adapted. Explore the resources on this page to learn how you can do your part.

Learn more: U.S. Forest Service | U.S. Department of the Interior

Publication

report cover

New report highlights 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 wildland urban interface (WUI) fires.

Get the report

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.
Enroll

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

Customize this handout

wildfire evacuation flyer
Wildfire Evacuation
This flyer provides tips for homeowners to follow when evacuating from a wildfire. Customize this handout with your organization's logo.

Download PDF 518 KB


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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New to our collection

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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.
Borrow this book

WUI articles

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