Why did some Fort McMurray homes survive?

Homes that survived in Fort McMurray in otherwise decimated neighbourhoods were largely due to homeowners who had adopted FireSmart measures

TORONTO/CNW/ – According to a preliminary report released Aug. 22 by the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, homes that survived in Fort McMurray in otherwise decimated neighbourhoods were those more resistant to ignition by embers.

This was largely due to homeowners who had adopted FireSmart mitigation measures to a greater degree than the owners of adjacent homes.

In ‘Why some homes survived: Learning from the Fort McMurray wildfire disaster’, researcher/author Alan Westhaver sought to answer the question: ‘Why did some homes survive this wildland/urban interface fire with little or no damage, while others were vulnerable to ignition and destroyed?’

After evaluating the fire environment and clearances between homes and the forest edge, Westhaver discounted direct contact from flames or radiant heat of the forest fire as being significant sources of home ignition at Fort McMurray. Instead, he concluded that wind-driven embers were the most probable cause for the majority of early home ignitions in the areas where the fire made its transition from forest into urban neighbourhoods.

Says Westhaver, “In all neighbourhoods studied, homes whose owners had adopted FireSmart guidelines survived much more frequently than homes where they had not, despite the extraordinarily harsh conditions. FireSmart works, it is a very effective program to reduce the probability of home ignition and wildfire losses.

“Home survival in these circumstances is not random, nor is it a function of luck,” he says. “Whether a home is destroyed by an interface wildfire or not greatly depends on conditions immediately around the structure, the area for which homeowners are responsible.”

The preliminary report can be downloaded for free at www.iclr.org.

Established in 1998 by Canada’s property and casualty insurers, ICLR is an independent, not-for-profit research institute for disaster loss prevention research and education.

 

 

Just Posted

Editor, The Times

Democracy is fragile, needs tending

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

Editor, The Times:

Staying true to core beliefs of family, friends, community, and our freedoms

Fashion Fridays: You can never have enough shoes

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Vancouver Island homeowners buy more earthquake insurance than the rest of B.C.

Insurance Bureau of Canada says that’s because the perception of risk is greater on the Island

Jets score 3 late goals to beat Canucks 4-1

Winnipeg ends three-game Vancouver win streak

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

B.C. woman looks to reduce stigma surrounding weed-smoking moms

Shannon Chiarenza, a Vancouver mom of two, started weedmama.ca to act as a guide for newcomers to legal cannabis, specifically mothers

B.C. teen gives away tickets to Ellen Degeneres show, plans O Canada welcome

The Grade 9 student wanted to give away tickets in the spirit of inclusivity

Most Read