By Ryan Depew, NFPA Fire Service Specialist
From the October 2011 issue of NFPA Journal®
NFPA codes and standards provide a practical and effective blueprint for how to minimize and manage the wildfire threat, and NFPA technical committees are working to standardize how we should collectively address wildfire issues. This work comes at a critical moment; from January through August this year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, wildland fires burned nearly 7 million acres (2.8 million hectares), significantly above average for the year-to-date period and the fourth-most on record. The month of June was the second-worst on record, with 1.3 million acres (526,091 hectares) burned. During that eight-month period, thousands of structures were lost in the wildland-urban interface, or WUI — the area where wildland fuels and structures intermix — and hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on fire suppression efforts. It is clear that more work needs to be done in order to address loss of life and property as a result of wildfire.