general, there are tens of thousands of wildfires each year, destroying
millions of acres of forests and grasslands (NIFC, 2000). During the
U.S. National Fire Protection Association estimates that more than 900
were destroyed each year, on average, by wildfires (USDA et al, 1995).
damage to infrastructure due to wildfires has increased in the last 15
years. Even with
all the information
currently available, in part developed in Texas A&M, it has not
sufficient to mitigate the damage to structures caught in a wildfire. For example, the Cerro
Grande wildfire in Los Alamos, New Mexico,
required the evacuation of 18,000 residents,
and burned or damaged nearly 250 homes. Six thousand insurance claims
filed as a result of this wildfire, costing insurers $70 million.
Oakland/Berkeley Tunnel fire of 1991 destroyed 2,500 homes, causing
billion of insured damage and 25 deaths (Guidette, 2000).
cost of residential damage from wildfire will continue to rise as
expand farther into forested areas and the median cost of homes rise. It is clearly apparent
that more work is
necessary in the area of damage mitigation due to fires. Current
information is not coherent and insufficient, researchers have failed
providing usable information that applies to the new type of community
development in US cities; requiring a new and better planned mitigation
development program in this area.
minimum of 3.5 million acres have burned across Texas since
the last week of December. Firefighters
in the state of Texas
are battling the worst series of wildfires in Texas history. In a single instance in
the month of March,
in the Texas Panhandle, fires killed 11 people, injured more than a
and burned nearly 700,000 acres in just a few days.
the wildfire destroyed 9
homes, 80 other structures and other miscellaneous structures in a
Star-Telegram reported that a
single wildfire burned 432,000 acres and killed three people who were
by flames. Four homes and 16 outbuildings were destroyed as well. Most of the information
structural damage and wildfires is based on distance to fire and not on
sustained exposure to heat and debris.
developments are not
following these guidelines and
therefore more attention must be placed in methods and systems to
damage to the exposed structures.
state of Texas
and the national community would benefit greatly with the development
mitigation methods and policies to protect infrastructure and housing
damage. This would
include not only
damage due to wildfires but also fires in contained structures caused