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Title: The wildland-urban interface fire problem: A consequence of the fire exclusion paradigm

Author: Cohen, Jack;

Date: 2008

Source: Forest History Today. Fall: 20-26.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: The fire destruction of hundreds of homes associated with wildfires has occurred in the United States for more than a century. From 1870 to 1920, massive wildfires occurred principally in the Lake States but also elsewhere. Wildfires such as Peshtigo (Wisconsin, 1871), Michigan (1881), Hinckley (Minnesota, 1894), Adirondack (New York, 1903), the Big Blowup (Idaho-Montana, 1910), and Cloquet (Minnesota, 1918) extended across millions of acres, destroying towns and causing several thousand civilian fatalities. This period produced significantly greater destruction of property and lives than has occurred in the past fifty years. More recently, the home destruction problem related to wildfires became nationally recognized in 1985 and has become known as the wildland-urban interface (WUI) fire problem. The initial fire management response to the WUI fire problem, principally organized by the U.S. Forest Service and the National Fire Protection Association, resulted in the 1986 Wildfire Strikes Home conference. The current nationally supported Firewise program developed out of that initiative. Since 2000, federal and state wildland fire management policy has recognized the WUI fire problem as a principal issue in a number of documents including the National Fire Plan (2000), Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy (2001), 10-Year Comprehensive Strategy (2001), and the Healthy Forests Restoration Act (2003).

Keywords: wildfires, wildland-urban interface (WUI), Firewise

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Cohen, Jack. 2008. The wildland-urban interface fire problem: A consequence of the fire exclusion paradigm. Forest History Today. Fall: 20-26.


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