Firefighter Training, Firefighting, Wildland Firefighting

Wildland Urban Interface: Ensuring the “Defensibility” of Defensible Space

Issue 10 and Volume 164.

BY TODD McNEAL Defensible space, the area around a structure in which fuels have been modified to increase the likelihood that the structure will survive a wildland fire front, has evolved through many definition revisions. This concept evolution is based on continual research by members of the fire science community and the personal experience of all-risk firefighters charged with suppressing fires in the wildland urban interface (WUI). This definition evolution can also be attributed to the numerous resource conservation groups and Fire Safe and Fire Wise councils that provide property owners with information and education for preparing their homes for the inevitable wildland fire season. When property owners modify the surrounding and adjoining vegetation, they assist fire personnel in making decisions during the structure triage phase of operations in the WUI. Defensible space around a structure can come in many forms and differs in relation to fuels and building construction…

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