Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Firewise Communities

Protecting Your Home from Wildfire

Over the past 50 years, more and more Floridians have moved out of our cities to build homes and businesses in outlying fringe areas known as the wildland/urban interface (WUI). In fact, almost one-third of our population now lives in interface areas where structures intermingle with forests and wildlands. Residents here, however, usually don't realize they may live too "close to nature" and they may, in fact, be living on the edge of a wildfire disaster.

On average, Florida experiences the second highest number of wildfires in the nation. During dry years, Florida experiences severe wildfires — wildfires that destroy homes, disrupt people's lives and impact our economy.

The simple truth is that few fire departments have adequate resources to protect every home in the wildland/urban interface.

Homeowners must become partners in fire protection. But there is also an important role for architects who design homes, builders, insurance agents, elected officials, planners, and educators — everyone who helps shape our communities.

We all have a part in making our communities safer from wildfire.

Find out how you and your neighbors can take action now to protect your community from wildfire.

Wildland/Urban Interface

The Wildland/Urban Interface (WUI) includes areas where homes and forests meet or mix together. Homes in these locations need special consideration.

Wildfire Hazard Assessment

Understand the factors that can make a neighborhood either less or more vulnerable to a wildfire with the Hazard & Wildfire Risk Assessment Score sheet.

Is Your Home Firewise?

Learn about the two most vulnerable parts of a home, the "home ignition zone" for wildfires and defensible space.

Firewise Construction

How homes can be designed, built and maintained to withstand a wildfire.

Firewise Landscaping

"Defensible space" increases the likelihood that a home will survive a wildfire even in the absence of firefighters. Learn how to utilize these landscaping techniques.

Firewise Communities/USA

Your community or neighborhood can help with local wildfire prevention and reduce losses from wildfire by participating in this national program.

Firewise Retrofit House Demonstration Project

A 20-year-old wood-frame home in a high wildfire hazard area was modified and made Firewise by creating a "defensible space" for wildfire protection without losing the "woodsy" look and feel. Treatments performed for this project are identified.

Fuel Reduction

Take action now to reduce accumulated vegetation (wildland "fuel"), before wildfires occur. Find out how you and your neighbors can take action now to protect your community from wildfire.