In an upcoming special Wildfire NFPA Journal issue, NFPA's Ryan Depew covers "Wildfire Standards" highlighting NFPA codes and standards that provide a practical and effective blueprint for how to minimize and manage the wildfire threat. In addition, Ryan writes how NFPA technical committees are working to standardize how we should collectively address wildfire issues.
This work comes at a critical moment; from January through August this year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, wildland fires burned nearly 7 million acres (2.8 million hectares), significantly above average for the year-to-date period and the fourth-most on record. The month of June was the second-worst on record, with 1.3 million acres (526,091 hectares) burned. During that eight-month period, thousands of structures were lost in the wildland-urban interface, or WUI — the area where wildland fuels and structures intermix — and hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on fire suppression efforts. It is clear that more work needs to be done in order to address loss of life and property as a result of wildfire.
Below, check out a video of Ryan discussing his recent trip to Bastrop, TX. In early September, Ryan traveled to central Texas, where he participated in structure fire investigations related to the Bastrop County Complex Fire, which had destroyed more than 1,500 homes.