I am building in a wooded area near a national forest. What should be done to protect the homes from the risk of wildfire?
FEMA’s hazards website www.fema.gov/hazard/index.shtm is an excellent place to start. It covers all types of natural disasters that can affect your property. Also, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) book, At Home in the Woods, Lessons Learned in the Wildland/Urban Interface, can be downloaded from www.fema.gov/hazard/fire/pubs/athome_woods.shtm. It describes successful measures for protecting development from wildfire. Another excellent resource is the Firewise website at www.firewise.org. It discusses design, construction, landscaping, and maintenance in fire prone areas. For homeowners, the FEMA fact sheet Avoiding Wildfire Damage: A Checklist for Homeowners is very useful and could be included in your homeowner’s manual. A list of additional homeowner resources can be found at www.firewise.org.