The wildland urban interface is where developed areas intermingle with undeveloped areas. It is the area adjacent to property where actions can be taken to prevent damage or loss from wildfire. There are over 14,500 communities at risk of wildfire in Texas. Training community leaders to work with local residents to develop and implement local wildfire preparedness programs is the best strategy for reaching as many people as possible. Wildland urban interface, or WUI, specialists are well-trained professionals that provide a wide range of services to the public, as well as community leaders with cities, counties and other agencies.
Mitigation programs help communities plan for wildfires long before there is a threat. To help your community address its wildfire risk, a WUI Specialist will work closely with community leaders to develop a detailed Community Wildfire Protection Plan. A CWPP is unique because it empowers communities to share the responsibility of developing strategies for protecting it against wildfire.
Preparedness programs are designed to teach people of all ages how to prepare for a wildfire. A WUI specialist will work closely with your community to implement these programs.
Ready, Set, Go encourages citizens to prepare their homes and families for the threat of wildfire, to understand current fire conditions and evacuate early when necessary.
Smokey Bear and fire prevention programs conducted in target areas have proven to reduce local fire occurrence by 60–70 percent. WUI specialists deliver Smokey Bear wildfire prevention programs for young children year-round.
Mitigation and Prevention staff also focus on educating the public about safe debris burning practices, campfire safety and other human causes
After a wildfire occurs with significant home loss, WUI specialists assist in completing post-fire assessments. Through these assessments numbers and locations of damaged and destroyed homes as well as common denominators leading to home losses are determined. These post-fire assessments can then provide specific solutions that can help prevent future losses.
In the aftermath of wildfires, WUI specialists also host restoration workshops for land and homeowners to assist in the recovery process. These workshops provide information on timber taxation, timber recovery and Firewise construction
WUI specialists serve as public information officers providing current and timely information, as well as prevention and preparedness messages to the media.