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Review of Pathways for Building Fire Spread in the Wildland Urban Interface Part I: Exposure Conditions

Author(s): Sara E. Caton, Raquel S. P. Hakes, Daniel J. Gorham, Aixi Zhou, Michael J. Gollner
Year Published: 2017

While the wildland–urban interface (WUI) is not a new concept, fires in WUI communities have rapidly expanded in frequency and severity over the past few decades. The number of structures lost per year has increased significantly, due in part to increased development in rural areas, fuel management policies, and climate change, all of which are projected to increase in the future. This two-part review presents an overview of research on the pathways for fire spread in the WUI. Recent involvement of the fire science community in WUI fire research has led to some great advances in knowledge; however, much work is left to be done. While the general pathways for fire spread in the WUI (radiative, flame, and ember exposure) are known, the exposure conditions generated by surrounding wildland fuels, nearby structures or other system-wide factors, and the subsequent response of WUI structures and communities are not well known or well understood. This first part of the review covers the current state of the WUI and existing knowledge on exposure conditions. Recommendations for future research and development are also presented for each part of the review.

Citation: Caton SE, Hakes RSP, Gorham DJ, Zhou A, Gollner MJ. 2017. Review of Pathways for Building Fire Spread in the Wildland Urban Interface Part I: Exposure Conditions. Fire Technology 53 (2): 429–473.
Topic(s): Fuels, Fuel Treatments & Effects, Naturally-ignited Fire-use treatments, Wildland Urban Interface
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 17814
Record updated: Jun 19, 2018