Large Outdoor Fires and the Built Environment (LOF&BE): Summary of Virtual Workshop

By Núria Prat on

NIST Special Publication 1263

Authors: Sayaka Suzuki, Sara McAllister, Samuel L. Manzello, Alex Filkov, Daniel Gorham, Xinyan Huang, Brian Lattimer, Maria Theodori

Sponsored by the International Association for Fire Safety Science (IAFSS)

Two virtual workshops of the permanent working group, sponsored by the International Association for Fire Safety Science (IAFSS), entitled Large Outdoor Fires and the Built Environment (LOF&BE), were held this past August (2020). The first session was held on August 4, 2020 with times selected to suit those in Africa, Europe, and Asia/Oceania. The second session was held on August 6, 2020 with times to suit those in North and South America. The Ignition Resistant Communities (IRC) subgroup is focused on developing the scientific basis for new standard testing methodologies indicative of large  outdoor fire exposures, including the development of necessary testing methodologies to characterize wildland fuel treatments adjacent to communities. IRC subgroup progress was presented by Alex Filkov (U Melbourne) and Daniel Gorham (IBHS). The Emergency Management and Evacuation (EME) subgroup is focused on developing the scientific basis for effective emergency management strategies for communities exposed to large outdoor fires. EME subgroup progress was presented by Maria Theodori (Reax Engineering Inc.) and Sayaka Suzuki (NRIFD). The Large Outdoor Fire Fighting (LOFF) subgroup is providing a review of various tactics that are used, as well as the various personal protective equipment (PPE), and suggests pathways for research community engagement, including environmental issues in suppressing these fires. LOFF subgroup progress was presented by Xinyan Huang (Hong Kong Poly U) and Brian Lattimer (Va Tech). An extended session was held for open discussion so that participants could provide feedback on current progress and offer suggestions for the upcoming LOF&BE workshop being organized as part of 13th IAFSS, now being held in April (2021). A total of 60 participants joined from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Zambia, UK, USA. 

Key words: Large Outdoor Fires; Urban Fires; Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Fires; Informal Settlement Fires; Wildland Fires 

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