News reports about wildfires frequently feature people fleeing under evacuation orders and firefighters defending suburban subdivisions from encroaching flames. Meanwhile, the wildland–urban interface — areas near fire-prone forests and grasslands — continues to expand. Land development experts estimate that since 1990, 60% of new housing in the United States is in WUI areas1.
More local and state governments need to develop WUI building codes to protect lives and property due to shifting development patterns. Changes in the intensity, size and duration of wildfires also demand new thinking and solutions.
Municipalities and states adapt existing WUI codes developed by national and international building code and fire safety organizations to meet local needs.
These are examples of WUI codes currently available:
- International Code Council (ICC) – International Wildland Urban Interface Code (I-WUI)
- National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) – 1144 - Standard for Reducing Ignition Hazards from Wildland Fire
- National Research Council of Canada (NRC) – National Guide for WUI Fires
- California Building Code – Title 24, Chapter 7A