Wildfires are among the worst natural and man-made disasters facing our country today. The damage caused by a forest fire is multifaceted as it affects several areas of civilization as well as the safety and health of the firefighters who intervene. Today, factors such as climate change and reduced land management practices are contributing significantly to the cause, increasing frequency and greater intensity of wildfires, especially in the WUI.
As wildfires penetrate the WUI, the area between undeveloped and developed land, the problems become more numerous and complex. Additionally, as the population of the United States grows and wild land development continues, WUI grows, increasing the vulnerability of thousands of people who choose to live in space and the firefighters who respond to fight. the fires that occur. This unique fire problem has become a high risk public safety issue for life safety, public and responder health, private property and businesses, economy and ecology in these regions. Without intervention, the adverse consequences of wildfires in the WUI will worsen.
Our nation is on the brink of a time when all landowners, citizens, communities, infrastructure organizations, universities, researchers, nonprofits, government agencies, and others have a role essential to play in coordinating a collaborative approach to contain and control the wildfire threat in the WUI. It is critical that elected officials and other government leaders allocate resources and support this imperative to address the WUI wildfire issue.
FEMA/DHS/USFA developed the “Wild Urban Interface: A Look at Problems and Solutions” to spur action by raising awareness of the crisis facing our nation related to the WUI wildfires and highlighting places a unified strategic approach to risk reduction at the national, state, regional and local levels. In developing this report, a cross-functional group of stakeholders and subject matter experts (SMEs) from across the country came together to identify 33 challenges in 13 key WUI issues and develop recommendations to address each. challenge. A total of 112 recommendations are presented. These recommendations address challenges related to firefighter health and safety, public health and safety, evacuations, forest and rangeland health and resilience, climate change, planning and community resilience, infrastructure and public services, communication strategy and engagement operations, socio-economic impacts, recovery, emerging technologies, data use and modeling and wildfire risk management . The recommendations must be pursued together, forming a system of strategies that require urgent, sustained and achievable implementations. These recommendations are not quick fixes, but long-term solutions. Leadership and commitment to implementing these recommendations results in a safer America.
Read the US Fire Administration report