Fire Prevention and Wildfire Safety: Southeastern U.S.

Beginnings of a forest fire.

The southeastern United States consistently experiences more wildfires per year than any other region. More than 100 million acres of land have a moderate to extreme potential for wildfire. The issue is not if an area will burn but when, and at what intensity.


Learn how to better protect your property with the Wildfire Retrofit Guide for the Southeastwith fire prevention and safety tips from the  National Fire Protection Association and information about how to “make your

Urban Forest Strike Teams

The UFST (Urban Forest Strike Team) project, a disaster response and recovery effort initiated by the Urban & Community Forestry programs in Virginia and North Carolina in 2007, and supported by the Southern Group of State Foresters (USDA FS Region 8) has grown to include regional teams across the US.

Urban Forest Strike Teams evaluate individual trees, street by street in a defined disaster area. In particular, they assess storm damaged trees on public property and rights-of-ways to identify risk, …

Land-Grant Universities at the Forefront of Unmanned-Aircraft Research and Testing

Drone flying over crop
Nation prepares to develop standards and protocols for widespread use

A 2012 Congressional mandate directed the Federal Aeronautics Administration (FAA) to begin integrating civilian unmanned aircraft (aka drones) into the national airspace (NAS) by the end of 2015.

FAA regulates all flight through U.S. airspace. Until now, the agency has allowed only public entities with special FAA permits, called Certificates of Authorization (COAs) to fly unmanned aircraft, mostly for research purposes.

On December 30, FAA picked six test sites from …

Evacuation from a Wildfire: One Farm's Experience

Smoke in a pasture.

Article by Mary Wilson, Half Creek Farm, Bickleton WA

I’ve always felt smugly prepared for whatever disaster might happen on our farm. I spent time organizing a plan in my mind that seemed pretty solid: my animals are used to being handled and all have a calm personality; I have a 3.4 ton pickup and a 16-foot stock trailer that I thought would probably hold all my goats; then I could likely move the cows and llama in the second …

What should I do after a fire to recover family treasures?

Professional conservators offer several basic guidelines for searching for and recovering family treasures in the ruins of a fire. Once you are allowed to reenter the fire area, keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Your first priority is safety. Before moving into a fire-damaged building or area, be sure it is safe to enter.
  • Wear protective clothing, including nitrile or latex gloves, face masks, and eye protection.
  • Avoid breathing in or touching hazardous materials. These include particulates, exposed asbestos, building

How do I clean items that have been in a fire?

Many items that have been in a fire may be salvaged. Your first thought may be to rinse the items. Don’t do it!

Water and other cleaning solutions will drive soot and ash further into the surface of your items. They will become impossible to remove.


  • Vacuum the soot and ash off your items. If possible, use a HEPA filter in the vacuum.
  • Wait until wet or damp items are dry before vacuuming.
  • Reduce the suction on your vacuum

Vulnerabilities of Buildings to Wildfire Exposures

Article Written by:
Stephen L. Quarles, Ph.D.,
IBHS Senior Scientist and South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association Chair

Home and Building Exposure to Wildfires

Building ignitions during wildfires occur when a component or components of a home or building are exposed to one or more of the three basic wildfire exposures. These exposures include 1) burning embers (also called firebrands), 2) direct flame contact, and 3) radiant heat. Burning embers are the most important cause of home ignitions. When …


Many people probably think “ignition-resistant” is better than “combustible,” but not as good as “noncombustible.” That would be an accurate assessment. The California Building Code defines ignition-resistant in a specific way – based on meeting a minimum flame spread rating after the material has been subjected to a specified weathering procedure. A material labeled ignition-resistant has passed this test. This ignition-resistant definition is based on the International Building Code requirement for exterior fire-retardant lumber and plywood. An example of an

Firescaping – Landscape Design for Wildfire Defensible/Survivable Space

Fire safety must be a major factor in landscape design when homes are built in wildfire-prone areas. Appropriate landscapes can make a significant contribution toward wildfire survival.

What Is Firescaping?

Firescaping is landscape design that reduces the vulnerability of your house and property to wildfire. The goal is to develop a landscape with a design and choice of plants that offer the best defensible, survivable space and enhance the property. The ideal is to surround the house with things that …

Caregivers Should be Prepared for Wildfire

Considerations for Wildfires

If you live in an area prone to wildfires and are a caregiver, you must have a preplanned escape route. In the event that your first route is blocked, you should have a secondary or back-up escape plan. As is the case for all potential disasters, you should have a disaster evacuation kit packed and ready to go at all times.

You must pre-plan how you will be able to get the person you care for out of the house