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Wildfire Prevention: The Wildland/Urban Interface

This page provides links to useful information on wildfire prevention for local governments in Washington State, including examples of local building code regulations.


Overview

Most of Washington State is vulnerable to wildland fires. The Washington Department of Natural Resources has identified 199 communities in 34 counties at greatest risk to wildland fire (as of 2010), based on criteria in the wildfire hazard severity analysis developed by the National Fire Protection Association.

This risk is greatest in the so-called “wildland/urban interface” (WUI), the transition zone between cities and nature, where people have built homes on land prone to wildfires.

The federal and state governments require that each county prepare an all hazard mitigation plan. Wildfire is one of the items included. Community wildfire prevention plans are not required, but most communities with identified wildfire hazards have or are preparing plans. Local governments an also adopt building codes and other regulations aimed at reducing wildfire risk.

Below are some useful resources to help develop fire mitigation plans, community wildfire protection plans, fire-resistant building codes, and other tools to reduce the risk and severity of wildland fires in populated areas.


Model Codes


Federal and State Resources


Examples of Local Wildfire Prevention Regulations/Plans

Building Regulations

Weed Abatement Regulations

For examples of local weed abatement provisions, see our page Weeds and Other Nuisance Vegetation.

Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs)

For examples of community wildfire protection plans (CWPPs), see the Department of Natural Resource’s Community Wildfire Protection webpage.

All-Hazard Mitigation Plans

For examples of all hazard mitigation plans, see our page on Hazard Mitigation Planning.


Recommended Resources

  • Firewise USA – Program to engage homeowners and community members in wildfire prevention
  • Planning for Wildfires, by Stuart Meck and Jim Schwab, APA Planning Advisory Service Report No 529/530 (2005) (Available through MRSC Library Loan)

Last Modified: November 07, 2017