Anyone who’s seen the massive destruction wrought by wildfire across the western United States this season has no doubt about its potential for disaster. The tragic loss of so many firefighters in Arizona reminds us of the devastation left in its wake.
So what is being done to improve how wildfires are fought and prevented? Well, lots of things. NFPA’s Firewise program works with communities to mitigate the dangers of wildfires. NFPA 1143 addresses preparedness for wildland incidents and mitigation efforts.
Also, GIS (Geographic information systems) is being used in a forecasting tool to model wildfire using a variety of inputs. It is interesting to compare these three approaches to fire modeling that have sprung up to deal with the threat.
NFPA 950 and 951 are new proposed documents, due out in 2015 and 2016 respectively, that will address the interoperability of data across exchanges in an all-hazards response. Stay tuned for updates on these standards.