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Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Pascale Vacca; Alba Àgueda; Elsa Pastor; Eulalia Planas
Publication Date: 2022

Wildland–Urban Interface (WUI) fires pose great management challenges in terms of civil protection and fire mitigation, as firefighters’ capacities are often exceeded due to the need of simultaneous response to wildfire suppression, community evacuation, and structure protection [1]. If the number of burning and vulnerable dwellings overwhelms the local fire response capability, the fire protection effectiveness is reduced, and many homes may be left unattended [2]. Self-protection has thus become a growing necessity, and focus must be placed on the creation of fire-adapted communities, which can safely co-exist with wildfires [1]. To aid the attainment of this goal, we implemented a Vulnerability Assessment Tool (VAT) [3] that can assist homeowners in the identification of the risks and vulnerabilities of their properties located at the WUI. This tool consists of a checklist implemented as an online web tool that can be filled in by the homeowners themselves and takes into account the different paths that can lead to a fire entering the building. It is based on a fault tree analysis that accounts for building vulnerabilities (i.e., glazing systems, rooves and gutters, etc.) as well as for different types of fuels (i.e., wildland fuels, ornamental vegetation, and artificial fuels) located within a radius of 30 m around the building. The result of the checklist consists in the quantification of the probability of fire entrance in the building and identifies the different issues that need to be addressed in order to reduce this probability. This tool is validated by applying it to two communities that were exposed to a wildfire during the summer of 2021, one in Lloret de Mar (Spain) and the other one in the municipalities of Castro Marim and Tavira in Portugal.

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Citation: Vacca, Pascale; Àgueda, Alba; Pastor, Elsa; Planas, Eulàlia. 2022. Implementation of a vulnerability assessment tool for properties at the wildland-urban interface based on real case studies. Environmental Sciences Proceedings 17(1):104.

Cataloging Information

Regions:
Keywords:
  • homeowners
  • Portugal
  • preparedness
  • self-protection measures
  • Spain
  • structure ignition
  • vulnerability assessment
Record Last Modified:
Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (https://www.frames.gov/contact)
FRAMES Record Number: 67621