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WUI Data, Research and Technology

Explore these data resources that will help you to understand the characteristics of wildland urban interface (WUI) fires, identify and assess wildfire risk, and prepare more effectively for response to WUI fires.

burned homes after a wildfire
Wildfire Report Series program mark

An Analysis of NFIRS Data for Selected Wildfires

The third report in our Wildfire Report Series compares the publicly reported loss metrics (e.g., deaths, injuries, dollar losses and acres burned) from media and government sources for 6 named wildfires between 2016 and 2018 with the data reported by local fire departments to the NFIRS.

Overall, the data in the NFIRS for these wildfires significantly understates the publicly reported losses except for acres burned, which was often overreported in the NFIRS.
Woolsey fire
Wildfire Report Series program mark

Analysis of NFIRS incidents in the WUI

The second report in our Wildfire Report Series examines 2009 to 2011 California WUI incidents reported to the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) in terms of travel time, loss measures and fire cause and compares the incidents to those outside WUI areas.

This report presents a novel method for identifying incidents that occur in the WUI: NFIRS data was geocoded and combined with existing U.S. Forest Service WUI shapefiles to identify incidents. This dataset creates a substantial new opportunity for linking local fire department incident responses and wildland fires.

Reference materials

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

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New at the NETC Library

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Drought, Flood, Fire: How Climate Change Contributes to Catastrophes

This book describes how and why climate change is already fomenting dire consequences, and will certainly make climate disasters worse in the near future.

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WUI and wildfire materials recently added to our collection

Research project

Structure separation experiments

The National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Fire Administration and other agency partners are conducting a multi-year phased series of full-scale fire experiments to assess safe structure separation distances between different types of auxiliary and residential structures. Fire spread from structure to structure is often a major factor in large-loss WUI fire events.

Measurement of flame lengths, heat fluxes, and temperatures generated from burning structures ranging from small sheds to neighboring residences will support parcel-level spacing guidance, structure hardening guidance, and the development of more representative test methods of fuels and mitigation pathways implemented in the WUI. Results may be used by authorities having jurisdiction nationwide to define or refine structure separation requirements and building and fire codes in both WUI and non-WUI environments.

Learn about the structure separation experiments


illustration of a wildfire sensor network over a neighborhood

Sensor tests show promise for early detection of wildfires

4 prototype technologies successfully tested by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will assist with early detection of wildfires.

Read the article