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June 2017 NFPA Journal: How can we better protect homes and other structures against wildfire?

posted Jun 7, 2017, 1:50 PM by Ryan Ulyate
An informative article from the June 2017 Newsletter of the National Fire Protection Association.  Here's a key paragraph about the 2016 Fort McMurray fire in Western Canada :

 "...A few months after the fire, Alan Westhaver, a wildfire behavior analyst, published a report for the Toronto-based Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction that reinforced the importance of wildfire prevention and preparedness efforts...

...Westhaver’s report, “Why Some Homes Survived: Learning from the Fort McMurray Wildfire Disaster,” concluded that structure loss in the fire was not random, but instead dependent on homes’ wildfire preparedness as established by guidelines put forth by FireSmart, a Canadian wildfire preparedness program similar to NFPA’s Firewise. According to the report, 81 percent of homes that survived the fire had a FireSmart hazard rating of low to moderate, meaning they were well-prepared for a wildfire, and all of the homes that survived despite extreme exposure to the fire had a low hazard rating. Conversely, most of the homes that were destroyed in the fire had high to extreme FireSmart hazard ratings."