A study, conducted for the very first time, has made a connection between homes that are not fireproofed and the spread of forest fires. Fireproofing not only aids the home but the forest.
Has your home been fireproofed? Are forest fires common where you live? If you answer no to the first question and yes to the second then your home is most likely in danger if a forest fire breaks out.
Michael Ghil, UCLA distinguished professor of climate dynamics and geosciences and the research team that he led has found that whether your home and your neighbours’ homes are fireproofed plays a major role in determining the spread of forest fires.
Ghil says, "There is actually more flammable material in a house per square yard than in a forest. It makes a tremendous difference whether you fireproof your home or not. Neighborhoods where homes are fireproofed suffer significantly less damage than neighborhoods where they are not."
The study shows that fireproofing of homes is important not only for the houses, but also for the forest. The team took a systematic looks at both the dwellings and at the forest. This is, surprisingly, the first time that such a study was conducted.
The team modeled used data from forest ecosystems in Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin and modeled the spread of fires.
Ghil said. "The spread of forest fires is not just an act of God. Fireproofing houses can make an enormous difference in whether a fire sweeps through a community or not."
As the density of non-fireproofed houses increases, the chances of the neighborhoods burning increase dramatically, Ghil said.
Drought, existing vegetation and wind intensity and direction all contribute to the spread of forest fires.
What is most interesting is that this research had never been previously conducted.