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February 3, 2014 Previous day Next day

Planning on attending the IAFC 2014 Wildland-Urban Interface Conference in Reno, Nevada? Then you don't want to miss NFPA's pre-conference education session, “Assessing Wildland Fire Hazards in the Home Ignition Zone Workshop.”

This two-day workshop, led by Pat Durland, Stone Creek Fire, LLC, provides a basic understanding of fire behavior and structure ignition from wildfires and increases your understanding of WUI fire mitigation. The workshop also provides a solid understanding of safety measures and standards specifically focusing on NFPA 1144 and NFPA 1141.

Dates are Sunday, March 16 and Monday, March 17, 2014.

Don't miss out! Register now online. Learn more about NFPA’s HIZ workshops and hear what Pat has to say about the workshop in our latest video.


While investigating social media use during emergencies for my NFPA Journal feature, "#AreYouPrepared?," my research kept pointing me to zombies. Yes, zombies--those ghoulish creatures that refuse to rest in peace and have successfully invaded all forms of popular culture in recent years. They've also managed to grab the attention of social media users.

Let me explain: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched a social media campaign in 2011 promoting emergency preparedness tactics helpful during a zombie takeover and other disasters. (NFPA has developed similar tips for emergencies.) Their philosophy was if you were prepared for the "dawn of the dead" (stellar zombie flick, by the way), you were prepared for tornadoes, fires, and other events. The CDC disseminated these tools and tips via its social media channels. What was the response? Check out the following video where I give an overview of the campaign:



For a recent example of social media's effectiveness, check out a recent Atlanta-Journal Constitution article on its use during the recent snow storm that sidelined Atlanta.

I highly recommend any WUI professional or homeowner to review this interesting research paper.  This thought provoking research paper presents a pathway to 'effective and efficient' action and breaks down the wildfire paradox versus perpetuating it. This research paper is extremely helpful in defining a decision-making process that is specific and outcome focused.

According to the authors “If our problem statement is defined a keeping wildfires out of the WUI, it is unobtainable, and large wildfires and residential disasters will continue, and likely increase.  Fuel treatments do not stop fires (just change behavior), and treatment alone without Home Ignition Zone [HIZ] treatment means that the inevitable wildfire exposure will result in structure loss……..By contrast, if the problem is identified as a home ignition, mitigation of the HIZ is the most cost-effective investment for reducing home destruction, and this can be augmented with other investments.” (Calkin etal, 2013 p 5-6).


Figure 1: Conceptual model highlighting the major fundamental objectives (level 1), means-based objectives (levels 2 & 3), and action for reducing the risk of home loss as a result of wildfire (Calkin et al, 2013).

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