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Mitigating Wildfire Risk in the Wildland Urban Interface: The Role of RegulationsAuthor(s): Cheryl R. Renner; Margaret Reams; Terry Haines
Source: In: Aguirre-Bravo, C.; Pellicane, Patrick J.; Burns, Denver P.; and Draggan, Sidney, Eds. 2006. Monitoring Science and Technology Symposium: Unifying Knowledge for Sustainability in the Western Hemisphere Proceedings RMRS-P-42CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 715-722
Publication Series: Proceedings (P)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (390 B)
DescriptionThe growth of residential communities within forest areas throughout the country, and particularly in the West, has increased the danger to life and property from uncontrolled wildfire. The conflict of permanent residential settlements built next to a fire-adapted ecosystem has been further exacerbated by 100 years of fire suppression and an extended drought in the West. Under the police powers granted by the Constitution, state and local governments have the power to pass laws to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their citizens. As this relates to land use, the states have delegated this power to cities and counties. As a result, most laws for creating and maintaining defensible space around structures have been enacted at the local level. Research of state and local wildfire mitigation efforts found that many areas adopt regulations for defensible space as only one element of multi-faceted programs for wildfire mitigation. This paper will compare four model ordinances designed for adoption by state and local governments to protect communities from wildfire. In addition, results from a survey of wildfire program managers provide insight into the obstacles faced in administering defensible space regulations. In evaluating program options, managers must assess/balance wildfire risk and safety issues with public acceptance of regulations and the potential effectiveness of the regulation in mitigating wildfire hazard.
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CitationRenner, Cheryl R.; Reams, Margaret; Haines, Terry. 2006. Mitigating Wildfire Risk in the Wildland Urban Interface: The Role of Regulations. In: Aguirre-Bravo, C.; Pellicane, Patrick J.; Burns, Denver P.; and Draggan, Sidney, Eds. 2006. Monitoring Science and Technology Symposium: Unifying Knowledge for Sustainability in the Western Hemisphere Proceedings RMRS-P-42CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 715-722
Keywordsmonitoring, assessment, sustainability, Western Hemisphere, sustainable management, ecosystem resources, wildfire risk, wildland urban interface
- County and municipal ordinances to protect wildland-urban interface communities
- The national database of wildfire mitigation programs: state, county and local efforts reduce wildfire risk
- Wildfire Mitigation and Private Lands: Managing Long-Term Vulnerabilities
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