The Ember Threat and The Home Ignition Zone

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What are the primary threats to homes during a wildfire?

Living within City limits, we are not typically threatened by wildfires.  But after recent firestorms in California, it's very apparent that urban areas are also at great risk during a firestorm.  

Research around home destruction vs. home survival in wildfires point to embers and small flames as the main way that the majority of homes ignite in wildfires. Embers are burning pieces of airborne wood and/or vegetation that can be carried more than a mile through the wind can cause spot fires and ignite homes, debris and other objects.

There are methods for homeowners to prepare their homes to withstand ember attacks and minimize the likelihood of flames or surface fire touching the home or any attachments. Experiments, models and post-fire studies have shown homes ignite due to the condition of the home and everything around it, up to 200’ from the foundation. This is called the Home Ignition Zone (HIZ).

The Firewise USA Website of the NFPA provides Wildfire Risk Reduction Steps to make your home safer during a wildfire.  

You can also download How to Prepare Your Home for Wildfires.