Homeowner Wildfire Mitigation
“How can homeowners take action in wildfire mitigation?”
Wildfires threaten homes of all types. However, just as wildfire mitigation needs to be practiced on the institutional level, it also needs to be considered by individual households. This Homeowner Wildfire Mitigation can be accomplished in a myriad of forms, whether it be by modifying windows, cultivating a defensible space, or making roofs ignition resistant.
Image credit http://www.usfa.fema.gov
Ignition Resistant Roofs
“How can we make our buildings’ roofs resistant to wildfire?”
Wildfires pose a threat to all buildings in or near the wildland-urban interface. To protect against this, fireproof housing designs must be implemented. Part of this will be to design Ignition Resistant Roofs that won’t flame up in the case of wildfire contact. These are usually built by lacking pores and holes for which ember can enter and having a fireproof coating.
Image credit http://www.metalroofing.com
“How can we create homes that are resilient to wildfires?”
Wildfires are destroying homes all over dry, forested areas. And with the ascent of climate change, the wildland-urban interface is only becoming larger and more deadly. To save lives, we need to think about how to make our housing stock more resilient to these disasters. This can come in the form of Fireproof Housing, often accomplished by changing the external surface to a burn-resistant material such as fiber-cement composite or creating a defensive landscape.
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“What causes wildfires to occur?”
Wildfires can devastate communities and are only becoming a more pertinent problem with the advent of climate change. But what exactly is the primary factor for their spread? Well, just like parasites need a host to grow, fires need substances to burn. This Wildfire Fuel often comes in the form of trees, bushes, grass, and other burnable vegetative material that wildfire fuel managers have to contend with.
Wildfire Fuels Management
“How can we manage the amount of burnable fuels found in wildfires?”
Wildfires are becoming an increasingly difficult problem in dense, forested, dry regions as a result of climate change. One of the most critical vulnerabilities in these areas are the fuel, or material that can ignite wildfires on the ground. Through Wildfire Fuels Management, we can look at what might be igniting these fires and ensure that proper mitigation is achieved.
Image credit http://people.forestry.oregonstate.edu/
“How can we suppress a wildfire?”
Wildfires pose a grave danger to the communities that are affected by them. Many active mitigation measures call to change this by employing Wildfire Suppression which stops fires in their tracks. This can either be done through firefighters on the ground or flame-retardant sprayed by helicopters.
Image credit http://sustainablenorthwest.org/
“What is the border region between the wilderness and urban areas and why is it a resilience risk?”
In the human imagination, urban areas and wilderness are two distinct areas. However, in reality, there is a transition zone known as the Wildland-Urban Interface, where human populations mix with forests. Because these areas usually contain copious amounts of burnable fuel, living inside them creates a risk for wildfires to occur. As such urban planners, civil engineers, and policymakers will need to work together to minimize human presence in these areas.
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