Introduction to Wildland/Urban Interface Hazard Mitigation
The wildland/urban interface is any area where man-made buildings are built close to or within natural terrain and flammable vegetation, where high potential for wildland fires 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 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 a 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 provided Fremont County Fire with the grant to cost share these activities.
The Fremont County Wildland Fire Management Program (Firewise) was established in the fall of 2000 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 Firewise program’s goal is to provide public education about Firewise home design, Firewise landscaping, and to provide Stewardship plans which help to mitigate the hazards in and around homeowner’s property.