Throughout North America, officials are sounding the alarm about the rising risk of major fire events and the real threat that exists to life and property in North America’s wildfire “danger zones,” known as the Wildland Urban Interface. They hope to apply lessons learned from previous wildfire activity to strengthen fire and building codes to reduce risk and prevent losses. WUI areas are those where the built environment and wildfire-proned vegetation/forested areas meet.
WUI zones are expanding as a result of ongoing population growth and urban sprawl which is driving significant housing development in WUI designated areas. When more homes are built in WUI zones, the potential for wildfires sparked through human and natural ignition sources (i.e. lightning) rises, while the ability to battle these fires (or for controlled burns to occur) becomes ever more challenging due to a wide variety of factors including topography, density, community design, construction materials, community design and construction materials.