Modern wildfires are no longer contained in just isolated realms of the environmental landscape. Today, many fires are encroaching on the urbanized fringe of countless communities. More specifically, the geographic spaces where urban/residential areas blend into wildfire-prone natural landscapes are...
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The panel established key findings and suggestions for improving the WUI fire threat. The Blue Ribbon Summit organized those findings into five key areas: education, incentives, mitigation, regulation and fire suppression. Outlined within these five categories are recommendations and approaches for mitigating the threat of wildland/urban interface fire.
When fire strikes a community in the WUI, homeowners and government agencies must be prepared. Communication between stakeholders, code development and implementation, and homeowner actions are simply the beginning of a trend that must spread across the more than 65,000 communities nationwide that are at risk for wildland/urban fire.
When looking back on the fire season 2009, it is hoped that signs of change will be seen. Now is the time for adoption of the recommendations put forth by the ICC-sponsored WUI Blue Ribbon Panel. To download a copy of the National Report, go to http://www.iccsafe.org/government/blueribbon/.
DAN W. BAILEY is the director of Wildland Fire Programs for the International Code Council. He spent over 35 years in wildland fire management for the federal government, including serving as the leader of the USDA Forest Service's National Wildland/Urban Interface Fire and Firewise programs. Bailey led the firefighting efforts on over 200 of the largest and most destructive U.S. wildfires during the past two decades, having served as the incident commander of a National Incident Management Team. He served on the board of directors of the National Fire Protection Association for 11 years and currently serves on the board of directors of the International Association of Wildland Fire.