Creating a Wildland Urban Interface Map

WUI - Wildland Urban Interface

Carson City, Nevada’s Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) shown in 1:1 scale

There are many communities in the United States that lie at the edge of wildlands or that form areas where wildlands intertwine with human development. The space between where humans “interface” (build structures on the edge of a wildland) or “intermix” (build structures intermingled with the landscape) form what is known as a Wildland Urban Interface, or WUI. The WUI is defined as the area between the transition of wild and developed land.

Wildland Urban Interfaces as a Part of Fire Management

A key part of fire management is the ability to map where fires are most likely to happen and to prepare residents within those areas for the worst when it occurs. This is one of the ways WUIs become extremely useful. This includes knowing where to control fires and how to guide residents toward evacuation if the need ever occurs. This data can also help in the creation of fire response maps and run book. Fire run books contain all the fire-related infrastructure and critical response plans needed during a fire.

Wildland Urban Interface

Carson City, Nevada’s Wildland Urban Interface Map as displayed in MapGeo.

Displaying Wildland Urban Interface

Creating an easy-to-use repository where residents can easily see the boundaries of the WUI is important in maintaining and displaying wildland data. In some places, like Carson City, NV (shown above), the WUI is a straight line. In other areas WUIs can be must more spread out and splotched all over the place. To display their WUI data (among other GIS data), Carson City is using our mapping platform, MapGeo.