Summary of Workshop on Structure Ignition in Wildland- Urban Interface (WUI) Fires

Published: September 18, 2015


Samuel L. Manzello, Steve Quarles


A workshop entitled Structure Ignition in Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Fires was held on June 18-19, 2015 in Anaheim, CA. The workshop was sponsored by ASTM International Committee E05, and was under the direction of Dr. Samuel L. Manzello of the Fire Research Division of NIST’s Engineering Laboratory, and Dr. Steve Quarles of the Insurance Institute of Business and Home Safety (IBHS). Wildfires that spread into communities, commonly referred to as WUI fires, are a significant problem in Australia, Europe and the United States. WUI fire spread is extraordinarily challenging and presents an emerging problem in fire safety science. While it is accepted that WUI fires are an important societal problem, little understanding exists on how to contain and mitigate the hazard associated with such fires. From a simple point of view, the WUI fire problem can be seen as a structure ignition problem. Some building codes and standards already exist to guide construction of new structures in areas known to be prone to WUI fires in order to reduce the risk of structural ignition. These codes and standards have been developed based on best information at the time they were developed. Often this information was anecdotal. This workshop has formally begun the discussion: based on current research, are these current codes and standards adequate? Proven, scientifically based retrofitting strategies are required for homes located in areas prone to such fires. The presentations of the workshop were delineated into four topic areas: post-fire studies, structure ignition/firebrand accumulation and production studies, WUI modeling, and evaluation of mitigation strategies.
Citation: Special Publication (NIST SP) - 1198
Report Number:
Pub Type: NIST Pubs


WUI Fires, Structure Ignition
Created September 18, 2015, Updated November 10, 2018