NFPA Releases WUI Best Practices Guide for Planners and Regulators

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has released Community Wildfire Safety Through Regulation, a best practices guide designed to help planners and regulators considering wildfire regulations to understand their options and implement a successful public process for adopting effective wildland/urban interface (WUI) tools that match local needs. Community Wildfire Safety Through Regulation is available through NFPA’s wildland fire safety webpage.

Wildfire hazard is a growing threat to communities around the United States. According to the National Association of State Foresters, more than 72,000 communities are at risk. While living closer to nature offers many benefits, the risk of brush, grass, or forest fires often gets overlooked. Recent research on global climate change indicates that losses as a result of wildfire will only increase in the coming decades.

Traditionally, the role of reducing wildfire risk has been left up to fire departments or districts, but planners are distinctly qualified to assist communities in creating a more inclusive approach to wildfire safety preparedness by helping to change the location, design, and type of development in high-risk zones.

Community Wildfire Safety Through Regulation summarizes many of the key planning, subdivision, and zoning tools that planners can use to help protect their communities from wildfire. The guide also provides:

  • Sound technical and legal justifications for adoption of wildfire regulations for planners and public officials
  • Tips on what planners should do before the community embarks on a formal wildfire safety regulation adoption process
  • Guidance for communities to evaluate their wildfire safety needs and choose tools that fit those needs
  • A summary of best practices used around the country to address wildfire risk in the WUI

Community Wildfire Safety Through Regulation is based on a recently completed study, Addressing Community Wildfire Risk: A Review and Assessment of Regulatory and Planning Tools, commissioned by NFPA that includes in-depth interviews and extensive analysis of best practices for wildfire regulations in communities across the country.

For more information and to download a copy of Community Wildfire Safety Through Regulation, visit NFPA’s wildland fire safety webpage.