Homes In Wooded Areas Hinder Wildfire Fighting Efforts

Apr 3, 2014

Credit U.S. Forest Service, Associated Press

Yale forestry researchers say wildfires are getting larger and costlier across the nation. Jude Bayham who spoke at the University of Wyoming Wednesday says that the more development that occurs in wild areas, the more complex wildfires become.  

He says the Rocky Mountain region has seen an increase in such homes and it costs more to protect them when a wildfire breaks out. Homes built in wildlands have a direct impact on a wildfire’s cost and size.

"Wyoming has a lot of undeveloped wild land so they have a lot of potential for development in the wildland urban interface which implies that policy would benefit the state of Wyoming considerably," Bayham says.

Bayham says that California has recently had to impose a fire prevention fee to subsidize efforts to protect homes in the path of its wildfires.  He says Wyoming may need to do the same in the future.