WFCA partners with Milliman to drive down risk of Wildland-Urban Interface


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The Western Fire Chiefs Association (WFCA) has entered a strategic alliance with Milliman, a global leader in risk management, to drive down risk in the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI). 

Milliman has an established expertise in WUI risk analysis through extensive work for its property insurance clients. Together, the organisations have the confidence, experience, and humility, to recognise the complexity and consequential magnitude of the WUI problem, including requiring the external expertise. 

The WFCA said that WUI communities are facing, and will continue to face for decades to come, extraordinary wildfire threats from a perfect storm of ecologic, economic, and climatologic forces, and it is impossible to “suppress” our way out of these conditions. 

Instead, they hope to induce persistent resilience in WUI communities through the adoption and maintenance of evidence-based mitigations at scale. The Association said that there is shared interest between the fire and insurance professions of zero property loss to property owners from the peril of wildfire is powerful and laid down its intent to bookend support for effective mitigations between them and minimise the barriers to implementation by property owners through public and private means.

WFCA Executive Director, Jeff Johnson said: “Milliman is a preeminent worldwide leader in the insurance and risk space. We can only rely on best of class collaborators like Milliman, who offer actuarial projections into the future, to help engineer our way out of the current wildfire property loss trajectory.  We have established this strategic alliance after several years of tightly focused tactical collaboration with Milliman that has consistently yielded high quality and implementable results within the property insurance space.”

Nancy Watkins, a principal and consulting actuary with Milliman, added: “At the end of the day actuaries and fire chiefs are trying to solve the same problem – to understand wildfire risk and figure out the best ways to reduce it. With this alliance, we’re combining the WFCA’s on-the-ground leadership with Milliman’s deep insurance and modeling expertise to create an innovative and holistic approach to measuring, communicating, and reducing wildfire risk.”

Bringing our combined expertise to bear, WFCA and Milliman will help mitigation efforts evolve from analysis to intelligent management and purposeful disruption of the fire pathways that enable disastrous conflagration in WUI communities. 

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