Wildfire project awarded 2016 NFPA Fire Protection Research Foundation Medal

2016-06-14 13.14.46

Presenters and authors of the report at the 2016 NFPA Conference and Expo (from L-R: Raquel Hakes, Sara Caton, Daniel Gorham and Michael Gollner)

Each year, the Fire Protection Research Foundation recognizes a project that best expresses the safety mission, commitment to overcome technical challenges and collaborative execution approach that is the hallmark of Foundation projects with the Fire Protection Research Foundation Medal.

NFPA is proud to announce the project, “Pathways for Building Fire Spread at the Wildland-Urban Interface” has been awarded the 2016 Fire Protection Research Foundation Medal! Project recipients include the technical panel, project sponsors and the project authors, Raquel Hakes, Sara Canton and Kyle Kohler, led by Dr. Michael Gollner and his research team from the University of Maryland.

Fires in WUI communities are a rapidly growing problem in the U.S. The last 15 years saw six of this century’s top 10 most damaging U.S. single fire events, all of which occurred in WUI communities. More than 46 million homes in 70,000 communities are at risk for wildfire. Since 2000, more than 38,000 homes have been lost to WUI fires across the country.

There are many potential  pathways for wildland fires to ignite buildings within the WUI. These pathways depend on the characteristics of the wildland, the characteristics of the community, and the characteristics of the interface. NFPA 1144, Standard for Reducing Structure Ignition Hazards from Wildland Fire and NFPA 1141, Standard for Fire Protection Infrastructure for Land Development in Wildland, Rural and Suburban Areas, address hazards to structures in the WUI as well as appropriate mitigation measures. The goal of the project was to identify pathways for fire spread in the WUI and identify the gaps in information to better inform prevention and protection strategies. .

The results of the project were presented at NFPA’s 2015 Conference & Expo and at a research planning workshop for the NFPA Technical Committee responsible for NFPA 1141, NFPA 1142 and NFPA 1144. Listen to a recording of the webinar on the project now available online (scroll to the bottom of the page to find the webinar).

Our papers were also both recently published in Fire Technology: see both on our publications page!

For more information and to read the award-winning report, please visit the “wildfire reports, guides and case studies” page on NFPA’s website. And congratulations again to the team for their winning project!