Homeowner's Wildfire Mitigation Guide
A Wildland Urban Interface House
Information on this website was compiled by individuals at the University of California, Berkeley, and is based on the results from laboratory fire tests, observations made during post-fire assessments and input from those who are involved in firefighting. It is important to realize that no house is completely fire proof, but you can make it more fire-safe.
The goal of the information contained in this website is to provide information on how homes ignite and are destroyed during wildfires, and to provide guidance on changes you can make to your home and its surroundings to make it better able to survive a wildfire, and to also help you understand why these changes are important.
Embers, also called firebrands, are the principle cause of home ignition and loss during wildfires. Embers can result in ignition directly, or indirectly by igniting combustible vegetation or materials on or near your home that would result either flames touching your house or a radiant heat exposure that may break glass in a window, or otherwise threaten your home.
As can be seen in this photograph, information about your house has been separated into 1) the roof and roof edge, 2) the sides and attachments and 3) other combustible materials and vegetation on your property. Although you can look at each of these items individually, it is important for you to understand that when threatened by a wildfire, the survival of your home will depend on improvements you make to your home itself (both in terms of materials and design you have, and how well they are maintained), and the “residential fuels” that are on your property. “Residential fuels” include vegetation near your home, often referred to as your “defensible space” and other combustible materials such as fire wood piles and gazebos or other structures located near your home. Ignition of these residential fuels can result in fire spreading to and igniting your home.