Magazine article Risk Management

Taming Wildfires

Magazine article Risk Management

Taming Wildfires

Article excerpt

The common conception of wildfires is that they take place in remote or unpopulated areas and cause little property damage and injury. But a new report by the Insurance Services Office (ISO), "The Wildland/Urban Fire Hazard," reveals that the threat to businesses and homes is increasing. The report cites several factors behind the growing danger. The first is that historic wildfire suppression policies that aimed to extinguish fires as quickly as possible have actually increased the amount of brush and other vegetation that fuel fires. In addition, population shifts over the last century have placed more people and businesses at what is called the "wildland/Urban interface"; which means basically that more people are living and working closer to that fuel. (Although the problem is most imminent in the West, it is not limited to that part of the country. All 50 states lost acreage to wildfires in 1996.)

To combat this danger, ISO recommends, a more cooperative approach by government, business and civic groups. …

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