New Mexico Hosts Community-Based Institute to Help Stop Deadly Wildfire
New Mexico, well-known for its battles with big, destructive, fast-moving wildfires in recent decades, will host a nationally sponsored Wildland Urban Interface Institute on Nov. 6 in Santa Fe. The one-day event—part of a year-long series sponsored by the International Code Council—emphasizes strategic community partnerships and planning to help stop deadly wildfire in the wildland urban interface (WUI), that area where vegetation and human habitation intermix. Wind-driven fires in the WUI quickly become too intense, dangerous and fast to suppress.
“The devastating wildfires we’ve experienced in the last 10 years can only be stopped by careful community planning,” said International Code Council CEO Rick Weiland. “Having the best emergency response possible is essential, but it’s what First Preventers, communities and residents do before the fires arrive that does the most good.”
Held Nov. 6 at the Holiday Inn Santa Fe, the WUI Institute features Code Council experts discussing the WUI fire challenge; mitigation tactics, including defensible space around structures and the International Codes; and collaborative fire planning. They will also discuss how to integrate GIS mapping with web-based, hyper-linked planning. The Institute is for fire and building officials, community planners, elected officials, resource managers, developers, insurance agents, homeowners, and other stakeholders in preventing catastrophic wildfire.
“Communities in wildland urban interface areas need to ensure they take all necessary and available actions to protect themselves,” said Code Council President Adolf Zubia, Las Cruces Fire Chief. “Training and education of code officials and community leaders is vital to protecting our communities from wildfires.”
To learn more or to register for the WUI Institute on Nov. 6 in Santa Fe, visit iccsafe.org/training/WUI/ or call 1-888-ICC-SAFE (422-7233), ext. 33817. The registration fee, which includes lunch, is $150 for Code Council members and $175 for non-members. Registrants also receive WUI codes, reports, and continuing education credit.
The International Code Council, a membership association dedicated to building safety and fire prevention, develops the codes used to construct residential and commercial buildings, including homes and schools. Most U.S. cities, counties and states choose the International Codes, building safety codes developed by the International Code Council.