The role of defensible space for residential structure protection during wildfires

By harrisonrainewf on

(Alexandra D. Syphard, Teresa J. Brennan, and Jon E. Keeley)

This International Journal of Wildland Fire article identifes the efficacy of defensible space treatments against wind driven wildfires, specifically within southern California ecotypes. The study evaluated varying vegetation treatments within the home ignition zone and found that treatments within 5m-20m were most effective at structure protection. Treatments beyond 30 m did not provide additional protection, even on steep slopes. These results provide implications that landscape level vegetation treatments may provide little protection for homes. The study summarizes that further progress in wildfire protection in these fuel types may be best suited through actions in building design, community engagement, and proactive land use.

Other regions of the world with similar climate and vegetation may benefit from examining these implications.

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