Fire Protection Engineers play critical role in Wildland Urban Interface planning


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Fire Protection Engineers (FPEs) are key players in solving the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) fire problem, the US Fire Administration has said.

FPEs are able to apply their knowledge of materials, chemistry, social science and fire to reduce the risk of fires and protect communities, and one area where their expertise is essential is in WUI areas where homes and other structures are located near wildlands and vegetative fuels.

FPEs play a critical role in the WUI, using their knowledge of fire science and engineering to design structures, plans and systems that help prevent and mitigate the spread of wildfires to make communities more resilient.

Possible FPE WUI interactions include conducting wildfire risk assessments to identify potential hazards and vulnerabilities and developing WUI fire mitigation and management plans to minimise risk and protect communities and designing and incorporating fire protection systems and technology, such as fuel reduction measures, fire breaks, construction materials selection and early warning systems.

FPE’s are also collaborating with land management agencies, authorities having jurisdiction and first responders to develop and implement fire and emergency management strategies, participating in community outreach and education programs to raise awareness about WUI fire risks and risk reduction strategies, and conducting research on the combustion of fuels and the interactions with weather patterns and other environmental conditions that may increase fire risk or exposure to products of combustion.

There are opportunities for FPE’s to increase knowledge and community impact, such as attending conferences and workshops, or the SFPE Virtual WUI Summit focused on “What can fire engineering contribute to addressing the problem of fire and related hazards in the WUI?”

The US Fire Administration said: “If you are planning a WUI fire risk assessment or need help with other WUI planning activities, such as creating a CWPP, consider consulting with an FPE for comprehensive fire protection.”

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