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Rapid Structure Triage for Wildland Operations

BY TODD McNEALWhen considering all of the responsibilities laden on fire personnel in the wildland urban interface (WUI), the rapid sorting of structures into categories based on defensibility, also known as triage, is arguably one of the most challenging. The goal is to thoughtfully and systematically place each structure into the following categories:1. Stand alone. 2. Defensible with improvement or physical presence. 3. Indefensible. Triage is based on the concept of “the greatest good for the greatest number.” By adhering to that concept, firefighters make decisions that, unfortunately, under certain conditions, result in homes being destroyed. By default, this decisi...

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