Introduction to Wildland/Urban Interface Hazardous Fuels Mitigation
The wildland/urban interface is any area where man-made buildings are built close to or within natural terrain and flammable vegetation, and where potential for wildland fire always exists.
During the past few decades, population growth in the wildland/urban interface has increased greatly. Subdivisions and other high-density developments have created a situation where wildland fires can involve more buildings than any amount of fire equipment can possibly protect.
The past 100 years of wildland fire suppression has led to heavy vegetation growth and thus has greatly increased the potential fuel-load, “Hazardous Fuel”, for a wildfire to burn. As the wildland/urban interface has grown into these densely packed forests, the potential for catastrophic wildland fires has increased as well.
Introduction to the Western Wildland Urban Interface Grant Program
The Western Wildland Urban Interface Grant Program is the primary grant that has been used by Fremont County Fire to provide wildland fire hazard mitigation for residents of Fremont County. The grant provides cost-share monies that are available to homeowners for fuel mitigation and forest health activities. The Wyoming State Forestry Division has provided Fremont County Fire with the grant to cost share these activities.
The Fremont County Wildland Fire Management Program (Wildfire – Hazardous Fuels) was established to develop a cooperative plan to lessen the likelihood of severe wildland fires in the wildland/urban interface. A number of cooperators at the county, state, and federal levels are actively involved in the program.
The Hazardous Fuel program’s goal is to provide public education about fire-resistant construction techniques, ignition resistant landscaping, and to provide Wildfire Mitigation plans which help to reduce the hazards in and around homeowner’s property.