WUI Lesson 1: Wildfire Prevention May Preempt the Need for Suppression
This is the first in a series of WUI Lessons, based on the International Wildland Urban Interface meeting in Reno, NV in March, 2015. In this post I’ll explain some terms that have changed, and why.
The phrase “Wildland/Urban Fire” is now preferred to “Wildland Urban Interface,” because the latter implies you are at danger only at the interface, whereas the great majority of homes are in fact ignited by flying embers as much as a mile away from the flame front.
“Home Ignition Zone” is preferred to “Defensible Space,” because no one will be able to defend your house from the 2% of wildfires that overwhelm firefighters nationwide. Rather, you have to modify the Home Ignition Zone in advance of the fire so that your home may survive on its own.
As fire spreads only to locations in its path where the requirements for ignition are met, it is not capricious. Miracle surviving homes are not the result of a miracle. They survive because of attention to details.
Next: The homeowner’s victim mentality is not justified.