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Hardening Structures to Resist Wildland-Urban (WUI) Fire Exposures



Samuel L. Manzello


Wildfires that spread into communities, referred to as Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) fires, have destroyed communities throughout the world. In the USA, over 46 million homes in 70,000 communities are at risk of WUI fires [1-2]. Historically, fire safety science research has spent a great deal of effort to understand fire dynamics within buildings. Research into how to potentially mitigate the loss of structures in WUI fires is far behind other areas of fire safety science research. This is due to the fact that fire spread in the WUI is incredibly complex, involving the interaction of topography, weather, vegetation, and structures. Since the best way forward to address the WUI problem is the hardening of structures [3], the technical basis for improved test standards and building codes are being developed. This paper provides a brief description of the NIST Dragon technology, recent application of the technology to various building assemblies and mulch, and closes with a series of research gaps that must be addressed to be able to design building components to resist firebrand ignition from WUI fire exposures.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Forest Fire Research
Conference Dates
November 14-20, 2014
Conference Location
Conference Title
7th International Conference on Forest Fire Research


Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI), firebrands, ignition


Manzello, S. (2014), Hardening Structures to Resist Wildland-Urban (WUI) Fire Exposures, Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Forest Fire Research, Coimbra, -1, [online], (Accessed May 23, 2024)


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Created November 14, 2014, Updated November 10, 2018