Fred Durso

What's a WUI? NFPA Journal gives the lowdown on this important wildfire term

Blog Post created by Fred Durso Employee on Aug 6, 2013


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In March, a wildfire near Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, burned 200 acres and destroyed more than 50 homes.

"What do we really mean by the term wildland/urban interface (WUI)?" asks +NFPA Journal+ columnist Molly Mowery in the magazine's latest issue. Since an estimated 50 million housing units in the U.S. are located in the WUI, this term holds significance, yet can be easily misunderstood.

As Mowery explains, the WUI isn't a pre-established location, but a set of conditions within a community. Structural combustibility, vegetation, climate and weather patterns, topography, and fire history all play their part. "This understanding helps us set priorities for risk reduction activities, including public outreach programs such as Fire Adapted Communities and Firewise Communities, " she says.

Get a more comprehensive look at the acronym by reading Mowery's column in +Journal.+