Science is changing the way we talk about the Home Ignition Zone

Blog Post created by megan.fitzgerald-mcgowan Employee on Nov 13, 2017

Three homes of various sizes outlined with the three areas of the Home Ignition Zone.  Photo show how there can be over lap between two properties.

This past year, the NFPA worked with curriculum developers and instructors to revise the Assessing Structure Ignition Potential from Wildfire (HIZ) course. These revisions were based on scientific experiments and post fire evaluations that examined how homes burned during a wildfire.


As we’ve shared in previous blogs and resources, embers and small flames from low intensity surface fires continue to be the primary sources of ignition. What has changed is what we call the focus areas within the HIZ, where they are located, and the emphasis on the HOME as the most important component to address.

Instead, of numbered areas, the names are focused areas for ignition potential:

  • Immediate: home and 0-5 feet
  • Intermediate: 5-30 feet
  • Extended: 30-100 feet, possibly out to 200'


These focus areas correspond to the priorities of how homes should be assessed for ignition potential, working from the home out to the property line.


Check out The ember threat and the home ignition zone section on to learn more about the focus areas and what actions you can take to reduce your risk.