NFPA Journal highlights “Designing for Disaster” exhibit and importance of wildfire mitigation

Blog Post created by lisamariesinatra Employee on Jul 14, 2014

Six days, 93 wildfires, two deaths, and more than 100 houses destroyed—the event that locals call “Firestorm ’91” still weighs heavily on the residents of Spokane, Washington, who were there to witness it.

Less than a decade after the tragedy and mere miles from where a woman had died trying to flee her burning neighborhood, developer Chris Heftel set to work planning a large new housing development called River Bluff Ranch. The 2,000-acre site sat precariously along the edge of the heavily forested Riverside State Park, on land snarled with dead trees and vegetation—potential fuel for another wildfire. Heftel and local fire officials feared that the site was primed for a repeat disaster.

The story of how Heftel overcame those obstacles, and greatly diminished the chances of a fire tragedy at River Bluff Ranch, is one of many told in a new multimedia exhibit, “Designing for Disaster,” on display through August 2, 2015, at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

Read Heftel’s story in the July/August 2014 issue of NFPA Journal®.

You can also learn more about NFPA’s work on disaster prevention. Leading the effort for many years, NFPA’s codes and standards contain a number of provisions designed to protect life and property including NFPA 1600, Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs; NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code® and NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems.

Check out the latest issue of Journal for these and many other stories related to fire and life safety at