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Wildland Urban Interface

Wildland Urban Interface

Wildland urban interace is roughly defined as the zone where natural areas and development meet. The wildland urban interface (WUI) has gained increasing importance as more Americans build homes in rural settings adjacent to public lands. Since the development and implementation of the National Fire Plan, there has been a marked increase in reduction of hazardous fuels in the WUI on the edge of federal lands.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) works closing with neighboring communities to reduce future wildfire risks to homes near national wildlife refuges and other FWS lands. Homeowner responsibility for maintaining property according to fire safety standards is essential to effectively protecting communities from catastrophic wildfire.

The Mine Fire, San Diego County, California burned

The Mine Fire, San Diego County, California burned through the wildland urban interface in 2003. (USFWS)

Fuels reduction in the WUI focuses on high-risk communities and adjacent natural resources that are inherently important to social and/or economic stability. These projects increase public and firefighter safety, reduce risk of unwanted fire, protect recreational opportunities on Service lands, strengthen rural economies, and increase public understanding of fire management.

A mechanical "slashbuster" breaks apart thick, overgrown vegetation

A mechanical "slashbuster" breaks apart thick, overgrown vegetation at Bear Valley NWR. The refuge is bordered by the towns of Keno and Worden, Oregon. (USFWS)

Last Updated: 01/26/2012