Wildland Urban Interface

On September 20, 2005, the California Building Standards Commission approved the Office of the State Fire Marshal’s emergency regulations amending the California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 24, Part 2, known as the 2007 California Building Code (CBC).

701A.3 New buildings located in any Fire Hazard Severity Zone or any Wildland Urban Interface Fire Area designated by the enforcing agency for which an application for a building permit is submitted shall comply with all sections of this chapter. New buildings located in any Fire Hazard Severity Zone shall comply with one of the following.

1. State Responsibility Areas
New buildings located in any Fire Hazard Severity Zone within State Responsibility Areas, for which an application for a building permit is submitted on or after January 1, 2008, shall comply with all sections of this chapter.

2. Local Agency Moderate, High or Very-High Fire Hazard Severity Zone
New buildings designated by cities and other local agencies as Moderate, High or Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone for which an application for a building permit is submitted on or after July 1, 2008, shall comply with all sections of this chapter.

3. Wildland-Urban Interface Fire Area Designated by the Enforcing Agency
New buildings located in any area within any Moderate, High or Very High Fire Severity Zone as recommended by the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection or in a Moderate or High Fire Severity Zone as identified by the Healdsburg General Plan for which an application for a building permit is submitted on or after January 1, 2008, shall comply with all sections of this chapter.

Objective
The broad objective of the Wildland Urban Interface Fire Area Building Standards is to establish minimum standards for materials and material assemblies and provide a reasonable level of exterior wildfire exposure protection for buildings in Wildland Urban Interface Fire Areas. The use of ignition resistant materials and design to resist the intrusion of flame or burning embers projected by a vegetation fire (wildfire exposure) will prove to be the most prudent effort California has made to try and mitigate the losses resulting from our repeating cycle of interface fire disasters.

The Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Approved Products was created in late 2007 to provide a listing of approved WUI products that are in compliance with Chapter 7A. The purpose of the WUI handbook was to assist with the implementation of Chapter 7A. The long term goal was to transition all WUI approved products into the current Building Materials Listing (BML) Program.

Last year, OSFM achieved that goal and a majority of the WUI approved products, at manufacturers’ requests, have been transitioned into the BML Program. They are listed under the following categories:
  • 8110-Decking Materials
  • 8120-Exterior Windows
  • 8140-Exterior Sidings and Sheathings
  • 8150-Exterior Doors
  • 8160-Under Eave
These products can be found online.