Firefighting, Wildland Firefighting

Structural Triage in the Wildland Urban Interface

Issue 7 and Volume 172.

Wildland Urban Interface ❘ By THOMAS W. AURNHAMMER   Structural firefighters operating in a wildland urban interface (WUI) may have to determine which buildings can be saved from an impending wildland fire. That determination can become convoluted from looking at structures within wildland areas with an eye toward employing typical residential fire tactics as well as the emotionally charged pressures from homeowners and elected officials to save these structures. Although you should examine structural triage issues well before a fire occurs, structural fire officers operating at a WUI fire may have to make split-second decisions on which buildings to “write off” and which to protect. Although there are a number of prevention programs that will increase the fire resilience of homes and structures in the WUI, this article examines structural triage as a component of the initial fire response. Local fire departments should encourage and participate in efforts that improve…

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