Content courtesy of C2ES
How to Build Resilience
Climate change has been a key factor in increasing the risk and extent of wildfires in the West. Wildfire risk depends on a number of factors, including temperature, soil moisture, and the presence of trees, shrubs, and other potential fuel. All these factors have strong direct or indirect ties to climate variability and climate change. Climate change enhances the drying of organic matter in forests (the material that burns and spreads wildfire), and has doubled the number of large fires between 1984 and 2022.
Research shows that changes in climate create warmer, drier conditions. Increased drought, and a longer fire season are boosting these increases in wildfire risk. For much of the U.S. and Canada West, projections show that an average annual 1 degree C temperature increase would increase the median burned area per year as much as 600 percent in some types of forests.
Warmer temperatures and drier conditions will make fires spread and make them harder to put out. Warmer, drier conditions also contribute to the spread of the mountain pine beetle and other insects that can weaken or kill trees, building up the fuels in a forest. Land use and forest management also affect wildfire risk. Changes in climate add to these factors and are expected to continue to increase the areas affected by wildfires.
Communities, builders, homeowners, and forest managers can reduce the likelihood and impacts of wildfires by:
– Discouraging developments (especially residential) near fire-prone forests through smart zoning rules.
– Increasing the space between structures and nearby trees and brush, and clearing space between neighbouring houses.
– Incorporating fire-resistant design features and materials in buildings while meeting net-zero targets to combat carbon emissions by using high performance window and door products.
– Increasing resources allocated to firefighting and fire prevention.
– Removing fuels, such as dead trees, from forests that are at risk.
– Developing recovery plans before a fire hits, and implementing plans quickly after a fire to reduce erosion, limit flooding, and minimize habitat damage.
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Westeck manufactures innovative windows for maximizing the view, ease of operation and impressive thermal performance. Thermal values reach Passive House and Net Zero targets.
If you or your architect can design it, our specialty department can most likely build it.