How do wildfires burn homes? We currently know quite a lot about this question from research from the USDA Forest Service Fire Lab, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). As more fire science research emerges, NFPA has realized that while there are some things we know, there may be much more we don't understand about the details of structure ignition and the pathways of fire spread.
In the September/October issue of NFPA Journal, Fire Protection Research Foundation head Kathleen Almand describes a new research project to dig into just these details. Why is this important? More and more, "the little things" in a wildfire - embers and how they move through vents, weak links along rooflines or window sills - are being discovered to make a big difference in structure vulnerability.
The Foundation's research project, “Pathways for Building Fire Spread in the Wildland/Urban Interface,” is being undertaken by Michael Gollner and his team at the University of Maryland, and will generate a report later this fall.
Image credit: Fire research lab image from gollnerfire.com, research team at the University of Maryland.