Wildland Fire and the Wildland-Urban Interface
The risk of large, highly destructive wildland fire across the dry forests of the West is increasing. These wildland fires consume many acres and burn with fierce intensity. The added influence of human development and the resulting wildland-urban interface (WUI) also contribute to the challenge of managing wildland fire.
The costs of these wildland fires go beyond suppression, as they affect clean air, water, tourism, recreation and many costs associated with restoration. In a recent report from the WFLC, The True Cost of Wildland Fire in the West can be as much as 30 times of that reported.
The risk to communities, fire protection services, fire use and management, and smoke management and air quality continue to raise important issues across the West. A West Wide Wildfire Risk Assessment for the 17 western states and six Pacific Islands will be complete soon and will serve as an effective tool in addressing wildfire preparedness, suppression, and mitigation across all land ownerships. Efforts will be focused on achieving the three goals identified in the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy: 1) restoring and maintaining resilient landscapes, 2) creating fire-adapted communities, and 3) responding to wildfires.