Wildfire Risk Mitigation
The wildland-urban interface, where structures and infrastructure intersect wildland vegetation, is the fastest growing land use type in the contiguous United States1. In California alone, more than 2 million homes were identified as being at high or extreme risk from wildfires2. At the same time, the number of wildfires escaping initial containment efforts and becoming significant campaign fires is increasing. These factors together considerably heighten the risk of partial or total structure loss for property owners in WUI areas. Because of the uniqueness of each property or residence, the associated hazards from wildfire are also unique. While codes and standards provide some guidance on best practices, the burden of determining which protection features to use rests largely with the owner who may or may not be sufficiently familiar with the subject to make informed decisions.
For this reason, Reax Engineering assists clients in proactively reducing fire hazards that threaten property and valued assets by recommending various fire protection measures, such as fire-resistant construction materials, fire-safe landscaping practices, and active fire safety systems. Site-specific recommendations are based on a holistic engineering evaluation of property risk, including review of construction documents, topography, local fuels and winds, and availability of water resources. By incorporating each of these factors into the property’s wildfire resiliency strategy, owners are provided with tangible ways to reduce the wildfire hazard to their structure or infrastructure assets, and thereby decrease fire risk. For inquiries related to wildfire hazard and risk reduction, please contact Maria Theodori or Delaney Seeburger.
1 Volker C. Radeloff et al., Rapid Growth of the US wildland-urban interface raises wildfire risk (Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences, 2018), https://www.fs.fed.us/nrs/pubs/jrnl/2018/nrs_2018_radeloff_001.pdf
2 Insurance Information Institute, “Facts + Statistics: Wildfires”, https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-wildfires, (accessed November 21, 2019)