Sparking Solutions: Reducing Risk at the Wildland-Urban Interface

A conversation exploring the benefits and challenges of addressing the WUI problem


Oct. 12, 2022


3:00–4:00 p.m. ET

Event Series

RFF Live

Event Details

Wildfires in the western United States are becoming more frequent and more damaging to affected communities. Increased damages due to wildfire owe in part to a growing number of homes, businesses, and other structures in wildfires’ paths. The past several decades have seen a large increase in the number of US homes in areas known as the wildland-urban interface (WUI), where people live close to large areas of wildland vegetation. Over the past two decades, the number of residential homes in the WUI has grown by about 350,000 homes per year. As of 2021, roughly 49 million homes were in these areas.

On Wednesday, October 12, Resources for the Future (RFF) hosted the second RFF Live event in the “Sparking Solutions” webinar series, where we discussed the benefits and challenges of addressing the WUI problem. The session touched on the costs and effectiveness of alternative approaches, including land use policies, building codes, landscaping ordinances, homeowner education programs, and more; examples of community success stories; and other potential creative solutions.


  • Kimiko Barrett, Headwaters Economics
  • Patricia Champ, US Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station
  • Jeremy Dennis, Town of Portola Valley
  • Andrew Plantinga, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Margaret Walls, Resources for the Future (Moderator)

Event Video

Sparking Solutions: Meeting the Wildfire Challenge

Sparking Solutions is a three-part RFF Live webinar series focused on finding equitable, effective, and workable policies to address the growing threat of wildfires in the United States. Wildfires are a complex problem that require a wide range of solutions. Resources for the Future is bringing together leading experts across all levels of government, industry, and academia to identify and assess policies that can help the communities most at risk. This series will explore forest fuels management strategies, the wildland-urban interface, and wildfire risks and insurance.


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