All throughout April, the United States Fire Administration (USFA) is promoting “Wildland Urban Interface Awareness Month” to, “Raise awareness about what wildland urban interface (WUI) fires are and how fire departments can help communities become safer." Resources from their campaign website and from Firewise USA can help you protect your own home and your community.
The theme for this week, April 6-12, is, “What do communities need to know before a wildland fire?” USFA highlights defensible space to protect homes and encourages creating family evacuation plans if you need to leave. There are downloadable tip sheets and images on their campaign site for you to learn from and share with others.
Firewise USA has additional guidance on what you can do around the “immediate zone” of your home to ensure it is safer from embers cast from wildfires. This immediate zone includes the home and the area 0-5 feet from the furthest attached exterior point of the home and is defined as a non-combustible area.
Science tells us this is the most important zone to take immediate action on as it is the most vulnerable to embers. This is because an ember landing there can spread fire to the structure if fuels like dry seasonal debris or flammable plants continue the flame. Likewise, aspects of the home, like decks, eves, and other vulnerable points to embers can be improved for protection.
NFPA’s Take Action campaign also provides resources and projects that benefit young adults in creating their own evacuation and communication plans for their families and pets. Find evacuation checklists, go-kit lists, and community service project ideas to build wildfire understanding in your community.
Learn more about USFA’s Wildland Urban Interface Awareness Month and play your part in making your community safer from wildfire.