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Planning for wildfire in the wildland-urban interface: a resource guide for Idaho communities

Author(s): Stephen R. Miller, Thomas Wuerzer, Jaap Vos, Eric Lindquist, Molly Mowery, Tyre Holfeltz, Brian Stephens, Alexander Grad
Year Published: 2016

The price of wildfire has never been higher. Why? And what can local communities do about it? One way to measure the price of wildfire is the dollars spent on suppression alone. In 1995, fire made up 16 percent of the U.S. Forest Service’s annual appropriation budget; in 2015, wildfire consumed more than 50 percent of the agency’s budget, a benchmark reflective of steadily rising costs. A recent study of wildfires in Wyoming found that protecting just one isolated home can add $225,000 to the overall cost of fighting a fire. But the price of fire is also told in lost recreational opportunities, scarred landscapes adjacent to city centers, loss of wildlife habitat, presence of invasive species, and increasingly, after-effects such as flood and landslides, that can cause even greater long-term harm to a community than the initial fire. This guide is focused on wildfires that occur in the wildland-urban interface, or WUI. The WUI is both a sociological and legal term that is fluid based upon context; however, a common definition used is that the WUI is where “humans and their development meet or intermix with wildland fuel.”

Citation: Miller, Stephen R.; Wuerzer, Thomas; Vos, Jaap; Lindquist, Eric; Mowery, Molly; Holfeltz, Tyre; Stephens, Brian; Grad, Alexander. 2016. Planning for wildfire in the wildland-urban interface: a resource guide for Idaho communities. University of Idaho. 166 p.
Topic(s): Wildland Urban Interface, Fire & Wildlife
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Management or Planning Document
NRFSN number: 14856
FRAMES RCS number: 22958
Record updated: Nov 8, 2017