Sept. 28, 2022

069 - Challenging fires at the wildland-urban interface (WUI) with Michael Gollner

069 - Challenging fires at the wildland-urban interface (WUI) with Michael Gollner

Why so many researchers are spending their time tackling fire issues at the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI)? What is so challenging about this? We always lived near nature, why today this emerges as one of the 'hottest' topics of fire science? As my today's guest Prof. Michael Gollner says - you need a very bad combination of weather and vegetation conditions to create a really bad fire. However, these conditions are occurring more and more often - in California they are not even considering fire seasons anymore, but wildfires become a threat all year round. I don't want to jump to unsupported conclusions, but damn, the prominence of wildfires seems to be the consequence of climate change that we will see soonest, and will hurt us a lot.

In this episode, we take fire engineers into the world of WUI. We try to narrow down WHY fires coming from the outside are so dangerous and so different from threats we know. We discuss the paradigms of fire safety engineering and WUI preparedness, including defendable zones, threats from firebrands and the effects of wildfire smoke on the occupants. 

Finally, Michael shares with me his own experience with evacuating from a wildfire - a disturbing and interesting perspective of a fire scientist experiencing this first-hand. 

Please take a look at these wildfire and WUI resources:


[00:00:00] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Hello, everybody. Welcome to the episode. 69 of the Fire Science Show. And the podcasts. I try to explore topics subjects in fire science for engineering. That may not be that well, familiar to all of the fire engineers. And I have a pretty simple. Maybe not the most effective, but simple and quick method to scout for these topics. I search for topics that I have not been exposed to that very much in my professional educational career.

[00:00:29] Wojciech Wegrzynski: And I guess if me having not encountered some of these topics for a decade, Many of you may have not as well. And, uh, I guess it's fascinating to learn together. And I mean, if you have a more robust solution on finding subjects, let me know. I think it's working quite okay so So let's try to stick that. And actually I'm a little ashamed that I have not been exposed to the subject of the today stock because today we're going to talk about the wild land, urban interface.

[00:00:58] Wojciech Wegrzynski: The WUI fires, how [00:01:00] they are called. In some parts of the world. In fact in Poland where I work, where I leave, we don't really have that big. Wildfire problem. And. Looking at the news stories from south in Europe, from US from other parts of the world are absolutely devastating to see these massive, massive fires develop. And what I realize is is that we do not have that topic yet.

[00:01:26] Wojciech Wegrzynski: But eventually, I guess we will. And that, that frightens me a lot. And this is why. I'm very willing to learn about this, this things to maybe one Um, use that knowledge to, to save my family, to, to help my people and my country. And, if you are in the region, which is affected, I guess that episode is even better fit for you.

[00:01:47] Wojciech Wegrzynski: I hope you will enjoy the lot. I have invited a very, very good guest to talk about this

[00:01:52] Wojciech Wegrzynski: professor Mike Gollner from university of California, Berkeley. Who's a, well-known authority in all subjects that [00:02:00] combustion wildfire related. He's been a guest on the podcast where we talked about. The role of fluid mechanics in, in fire engineering. And some other fascinating stuff at both fire engineering, uh, there was a very popular episode. Everyone loves Michael. So I guess you will enjoy this as well. We go.

[00:02:18] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Uh, through what is the wild land urban interface with? Try to. really pinpoint on what the difference is. In fire threats in the compartment and the building, and what's the fire threat. And when you're battling a forest fire, a wildfire. I guess that's a very interesting discussion that shows how the paradigms are different in these fields.

[00:02:40] Wojciech Wegrzynski: And there's different paradigms dictate different techniques, different solutions. Different. Pathways to, to the solution. For me, someone who's done only building says it was very, very interesting. And also in the end, Mike shares a personal story he's been involved in. Evacuating from wildfire near, near his home. And it's very interesting to hear this.

[00:02:59] Wojciech Wegrzynski: [00:03:00] from, as fire scientists, you know, from, from someone who's very. Well knowledgeable in the subject. So it's very interesting. Uh, I mean, it's quite sad that he had to encounter that, As he did, and we cannot change that. It's great to learn His observation SU that stores the end of the episode. So you might want to listen till the end.

[00:03:19] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Yeah, I guess I've already sold you the episode. It's a really great talk with Michael. I'm very happy that he came back through the podcast and share with me his views on where he fires. And his personal stories related to that. So yeah let's not prolong that anymore let's spin the intro and let's go.


[00:03:58] Wojciech : hello everybody. [00:04:00] Welcome to Fire Sand Show. We have, uh, another come back to the podcast, Professor Michael Goldner.

[00:04:04] Wojciech : Hey, Mike.

[00:04:05] Michael Gollner: Hey, how's it going?

[00:04:06] Wojciech : Hey, good to see you again. how, how's the weather in, in, in California? Did you finally get some rain

[00:04:12] Michael Gollner: We finally did. It's, it's fantastic cuz the mosquito fire has been burning their Tahoe and, and it finally relented a bit. Uh, we get a little, uh, leftover of a hurricane or something here and we needed that water.

[00:04:24] Wojciech : First time in my life I hear someone, uh, cheering a leftover of a hurricane. But I guess that's the, that's the world.

[00:04:32] Michael Gollner: Thankfully just some rain for us and we really needed, we really needed this rain. It's, it's been a rough season. luckily not that we, disasters haven't been exorbitant, like some years passed, but we've had a lot of fires back to back and, uh, I don't know if it's a season ending event, but it relent a lot after this rain.

[00:04:52] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Isn't this horrible? We, we've started talking about fire seasons. When did we start talking about fire season? Mike? in Poland, we never talked about fire [00:05:00] seasons. Actually,

[00:05:00] Michael Gollner: You know, I, I grew up in California. California has always had, so I don't know about the rest of the world, but California's always had fire season. But you know, it was that summer and, and in southern California, especially early fall, cuz you have these Santa or, uh, you know, phone winds that come that blow down hot and, and dry.

[00:05:18] Michael Gollner: But they were a season. It's almost year round. Some of our top 10 fires have been in December. So, it, it really, feels like the weather patterns are changing. Like, it, they, they're always bad days, just a lot more bad days, a lot more drought, lot more often, a lot more extremes. And in the last 20, 30 years, You know, we can no longer just bring on a seasonal crew.

[00:05:41] Michael Gollner: Someone's gotta be there year round. and it's more likely in, you know, the summer months, but it's happening year round. So it is a significant change in the last 30 to 50 years.

[00:05:52] Wojciech Wegrzynski: It's an interesting observation, and then very on the, on the subject of today's episode, where, which is the Wildland urban interface. And[00:06:00] I've noticed we, we have never actually talked about in the podcast yet, A good moment to do so. Finally, like before the hundred, So I, let's say it's early in the show, , we talk about this.

[00:06:12] Wojciech Wegrzynski: So, wildland urban interface. Interesting, interesting problem. I must say as an engineer in Poland, I never was really exposed to this. Like my knowledge ends up on, on better mining the distance between the forest and your nearest, house. That there's like a load that tells you how far you should be.

[00:06:31] Wojciech Wegrzynski: and that's it. There's where your fire engineering would end. And now, talking with people around the world, the, this topic, pops everywhere. It's uh, it seems to be a very popular researcher. It's a very needed area. It's an, it's also a part of fire engineering that, that breaks into mainstream media like no other, Like you never see like mainstream media talking about like combustion fundamentals, you know, or, or Ming fires.

[00:06:57] Wojciech Wegrzynski: No, not really. But, but, um, WUI always [00:07:00] gets a lot of coverage because it's something that matters to, to a lot of people. So I, I thought let's bring WUI to more fire engineers who maybe as naive as I am and, uh, they, they've never had a chance to really, learn this part of fire science.

[00:07:13] Wojciech Wegrzynski: So maybe would be great to, to start from the scratch. Like, what happens when wildlife meets urban s

[00:07:22] Michael Gollner: Sure. Well, you know, and we'll start with all of it saying, Some of the definitions are a bit loose, and it depends on where in the world you are. We don't even call it wild and urban interface. We don't even call it wildfires. You know, down under, in Australia, you, you call it bush fires, but it's generally, you know, the burning vegetation and natural materials, undeveloped land, that's a wild land fire.

[00:07:43] Michael Gollner: Um, could be a forest grassland, shrub chaparral, but when it meets developed areas, There's this interface. So it's an area where any of the undeveloped land meats are built environment, and that's what we generally [00:08:00] in the, in the US now, are calling WUI or W - U - I w and, and it's hard to exactly define.

[00:08:07] Michael Gollner: There's been some studies that have mapped it in different ways. I like to define it that it's not just the area where it meets, but the area that can be affected. So if the fire can get spread a certain distance, Don't ask me to exactly predict that we're working on but as far as it can affect, that's all probably while in urban interface because we'll learn embers fly in.

[00:08:30] Michael Gollner: So it's like not just at that point, it, it goes some distance into a community and that's where we've seen disasters. So this while in urban interface often starts from the vegetation or the forest you know, whatever it is, and spreads. And there's different areas, it can be more included. So it can be more like your forest cabin.

[00:08:51] Michael Gollner: And to be honest, you know, 50, 80 years ago, the protection people were thinking. Having your cabin fire, not [00:09:00] start the forest on fire, but now the main focus is that fire on the natural landscape. Igniting could be a cabin, could be a string of homes, could be a suburban development or even something denser, but it's where that meets and whether that is. park that's very natural in the middle of a city. if you look at San Diego where I, I did my PhD, there's a lot of like canyons and then all the ridge tops are homes and around. And so there's mix of natural and, uh, developed areas. Any of that can be a WUI area because that's can spread naturally and into homes and then even jump back and forth, as it spread.

[00:09:41] Wojciech : How it differs from the normal problems you'd have in, in, in, in your, let's say, house , or whatever, um, building you, you're designing? I guess the first thing is the threat comes from outside, but probably there's more to that, right?

[00:09:54] michael_gollner: Yeah,

[00:09:55] Michael Gollner: I mean, what, , it's a completely different way of thinking about the risk [00:10:00] from the built environment when we're indoors versus outdoors because we're now worried whether it's already spread to your neighbor's house and your neighbor's house is trying to ignite yours, or the vegetation is igniting the house or embers, which are small burning particles, ignite from that fire, fly land, smolder, and eventually ignite.

[00:10:22] Michael Gollner: So, In your yard that ignites your home or the home directly on like a wood roof or in a crevice. But any of these mechanisms spread that fire from the outside into your home and, and the investigations into WUI fires have been really interesting to see just, just how that spread and how the dynamics are different.

[00:10:44] Michael Gollner: And maybe I can get into it,

[00:10:45] Wojciech Wegrzynski: yeah.

[00:10:46] Michael Gollner: We inside a house, we are so compartmentalized. We either have, we might have sprinklers, to contain the fire. It doesn't put it out, it contains it within a room, but our rooms have, you know, drywall covering. We have doors and there's fire doors, [00:11:00] right? We try to contain the fire to its origin here.

[00:11:03] Michael Gollner: The fire's all around us, and we don't often look at the exterior of a building trying to prevent a fire coming in. So there's a lot of vulnerabilities in traditional construction. Wooden decks. we found all sorts of, of interesting aspects and we'll talk about how to protect that are really vulnerable.

[00:11:22] Michael Gollner: But a lot of the destruction, it doesn't just ignite on the outside. We actually see there's a lot of homes that burn from the inside out. You know, you get one ember inside and then with no one there, the home burns down and so there's. WUI just takes a different type of thinking and once you understand these processes, which, which we could go through, then I think the mitigation measures make a lot more sense.

[00:11:48] Michael Gollner: but, you know, not, not every wildfire next to a community is, is going to cause a WUI fire and actually burn in and cause a disaster. It takes [00:12:00] some pretty extreme condit.

[00:12:01] Wojciech Wegrzynski: yeah. .

[00:12:02] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Are, are we capable of like, defining more or less, uh, where it becomes, uh, these, these disastrous, phenomena?

[00:12:10] Michael Gollner: Well, I think we struggle to define what becomes a disaster, but we know that a disaster is already present when we're losing multiple homes. So once we're actually damaging the infrastructure, when we're damaging places people live, when people are being hurt or killed, we know that we've turned from fire into a disaster and it's not too hard to make that leap.

[00:12:34] Michael Gollner: But we have to have some, some real conditions to do that. Cuz if you just have a small fire, fire department can respond, put it out, or they can protect the. But that's what's different in the wild and urban interface. You're not talking about two structures, three alarm fire. You're talking about maybe, let's say 10 kilometer wide fire front spewing embers, two kilometers ahead of the fire.

[00:12:59] Michael Gollner: So [00:13:00] you got huge area all being impacted. What, how many thousands and thousands of homes. There's no way you can have enough resources to protect them. And so you need a fire that's at that size and that speed and that scale, and that usually means dry conditions for a period of time.

[00:13:18] Michael Gollner: Higher winds, low humidity, which happen all the time around the world, but are much more common in certain regions. You need enough vegetation and wild and fuel to ignite. And then, you know, in some ways our, our community is now a target. So you need a target, that's receptive to a hit, and, and then that fire comes up.

[00:13:38] Michael Gollner: And if you start burning a lot of houses at once, very often by embers, just the fact that the embers can travel so far and land into such a spread, they tend to be responsible. Some investigations have said 50 to 80% of the destruction. and because of that fires, you don't know where that next fire is gonna pop [00:14:00] up.

[00:14:00] Michael Gollner: And it becomes impossible for the fire crew to protect. And in a lot of these very fast fires middle of the night. So the tubs fire in California burn 9,000 homes. The camp fire, 18,000 structures. it becomes a full evacuation and fire crews are pulled. Their only responsibility is saving lives.

[00:14:22] Michael Gollner: They're no longer doing structure protection. There are no resources, and so that's the epitome of the ultimate disaster scenario.

[00:14:30] Wojciech Wegrzynski: From your description. I also see one more, uh, astounding difference from this type of fire and the fires that I would normally deal with. It's the disproportionate damage compared to the size of the source of ignition and how quickly the fire spreads. You know, if you were in the building nor in normal conditions and you have a tiny ember, fly in and start smoldering, start a tiny fire.

[00:14:53] Wojciech Wegrzynski: I don't know what. What growth rate it would be? Would it be slow? Medium? Depends on what it lands. If it [00:15:00] lands on your couch, of course that's, that's a different story. But if it lands on your porch, it's not a very quick fire spread. It's just there is absolutely nothing to stop it In a normal building, in normal conditions, you would be able to react and, you know, we, we live in this paradigm that firefighters will come and save you In this case you brought up, doesn't. Because they have a thank kilo of houses and they're probably busy evacuating people. So you're in binary mode If you get ignition, I'm sorry. Uh, it's, it's lost. If you don't get I ignition, congratulations. You, you get lucky. Right? So, so it breaks so many paradigms of, of how we would deal with fire engineering because the lines of safety, you know, your ability to react to fire.

[00:15:42] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Your ability to be informed about the fire, I mean, doesn't really help when your smoke alarm tells you your house is on fire when you're a hundred kilometers away being evacuated. Right. So, So these lines of defense are suddenly, like they don't, don't exist anymore.

[00:15:56] Michael Gollner: It's a fantastic point. and, and this, this brings [00:16:00] up debates, right? So our, our main strategy in the US and most of the countries is to evacuate areas that are, are currently having or may be impacted by a wildland fire. and, and I think it's smart. I firefighters would struggle incredibly if someone is now getting trapped.

[00:16:18] Michael Gollner: That's not just liability. Now instead of fighting a fire, they have find you, get you out of there. And so there's, there's this phrase, stay and defend, which, is sometimes used in, in different countries. And, and it had been used more in Australia before the Black Saturday fires. Um, and there was such destruction, you know, and there's probably a level of fire where people can put out embers and make some difference, but there's also a level of fires where they can't handle it. Does someone in a home really know that level? And do they know what's coming? Will the weather

[00:16:50] Track 1: Hm.

[00:16:51] Michael Gollner: And so because of those factors, we really have to get people out. And then when there's no one there, there's no active response. And [00:17:00] firefighters don't go to a STR house until they see something happening.

[00:17:03] Michael Gollner: So I've heard tons of anecdotal stories. know, from some of the Cal Fire chiefs, uh, here in California where they even like driving along the road in Napa and they see a little bit of smoldering, Wait, wait, wait. I see something. They go to that house and they found a little smoldering spot under the house and then they put that out.

[00:17:20] Michael Gollner: They were able to knock it away, but if they hadn't put out that one little spot, the whole house probably would've been lost over time. But it's just so hard. There's so many

[00:17:30] Wojciech Wegrzynski: That's she luck. That's she That is she

[00:17:32] Michael Gollner: It's she luck. And so, you know, we have to change our paradigm to prevent the little fires that eventually get outta control rather just worry.

[00:17:42] Michael Gollner: You know, I feel like indoors, like you said, our, our strategy is hold off the fire until the fire department gets there. Now, okay, we know we're not gonna do anything if you have 200 foot flames next to your house. No, what are we gonna do about that? But if you have a little ember. [00:18:00] Little thing that breaks off a branch, flies lands near your house.

[00:18:04] Michael Gollner: Let's build everything around and everything. Sealing that house so that little fires start a big one.

[00:18:11] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Are, are the conditions near, like, imagine you living at the edge of the, of the forest and for some stupid reason you would, you would ignore the evacuation and would stay, Are the conditions little, like from the smoke, from the radiation itself or, because you, also hear about a lot of fatalities in, in wildfire, so I wonder like to, to what, to what extent someone could.

[00:18:33] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Could, maybe stay in the defend, like, uh, or that's really stupid idea to, to do that.

[00:18:39] Michael Gollner: it's never recommended, obviously, because it's, not

[00:18:42] Wojciech Wegrzynski: O of course, people would do for reasons and everyone has their own reasons to do that. Uh, it's not, we are not giving advice here to, to, to do something or not. But I would like to understand, me being an engineer, designing a house, like is it even possible, uh, when you're on the edge of, of [00:19:00] wildfire in an unor conditions?

[00:19:02] Michael Gollner: So depends. I get the best data for some of this is from the International Crown Fire Modeling experiments, done in Canada. And Jack Cohen, who retired from Forest Service in, uh, the fire lab in Montana did some of the best work early on. Both investigating and determining embers were responsible for most igni.

[00:19:23] Michael Gollner: Others had done some of this work, but at least in the US he was the most to really publicize and, and really bring that to the forefront. And also, he did these tests in those ground fire modeling experiments and said, Well, how far back do we have to be from the forest for a house to survive?

[00:19:39] Michael Gollner: And that's where we, we'll talk about defensible space, but you know, how far back from the flame front do you need to be in? Usually about 30 beaters from a giant crown fire from fires through treetops in a giant northern forest was sufficient. And, and that's more than you need for smaller [00:20:00] fires. but that is for ignition of wood, so you gotta be a little cautious because, uh, Level of radiant heat probably would still burn off your skin.

[00:20:10] Michael Gollner: Uh, so you'd need to be further back,

[00:20:11] Wojciech Wegrzynski: guess. I guess that would be like 12, 12 15 kilowatts. That's way more than my skin can handle.

[00:20:16] Michael Gollner: yes. Yeah, it would third degree burns all around your, your toast. Uh, but your house might survive, uh, so long as an ember doesn't touch. But one of the things that is done often and what we need to think about is how do you change the area around a structure? And that's why we called it defensible space.

[00:20:34] Michael Gollner: so you don't have to have that giant crown fire next to your structure. you don't have to chop down every tree either. You can clear trees for, 20 meters or depending on how tall and what they are. And then space. So chop some down, you thin it and you can cut the lower branches so that fire can't jump up into the trees.

[00:20:55] Michael Gollner: So, I know an unnamed, Forester who does a lot of this wildfire work [00:21:00] who stayed in a fire. but they have their own, I don't know, 20 or 40 acres. Um, and it's incredibly well. It's burned every couple years, prescribed fire that they do themselves. the fuels are clear in, in lower areas.

[00:21:13] Michael Gollner: Ladder fuels. The fuels that bring the fire up into the treetops are. And so the fire reaches that property and it's no longer a giant raging crown fire. It goes down

[00:21:22] Michael Gollner: there's nothing, nothing to allow it to keep going. And so that's a unique case where someone's a world expert and they still probably got into a bit of trouble with the local sheriff.

[00:21:33] Michael Gollner: Um, but it takes something in that level. And I think that's something we need to think about with communities is about changing the area around. Unlike the structure fires, you've got fuel inside. I mean, we work on fuel loads inside its structure. Now we gotta work on it. We can't remove the fuel. It's gonna keep growing, but we can manage it so that fires will come.

[00:21:55] Michael Gollner: They're natural, but they're not gonna be so big that we can't handle it. [00:22:00] It's just the scale of the problem. It's kind of a big world, and we want to take all those areas near where people live and where there's developed. and so there's, there's a lot of work to do to.

[00:22:12] Track 1: Okay.

[00:22:13] Michael Gollner: those, those fuels near our structures and to also make sure those structures won't ignite for members.

[00:22:18] Michael Gollner: that is how we fires from becoming disasters.

[00:22:23] Wojciech Wegrzynski: What about the consequences from the smoke? I guess the smoke is not that easy to defend against. We this year had, uh, in war also we've observed smoke from, uh, fires in Ukraine. from few years ago when you had really devastating wildfire season in, California, there were this, Pictures with sky totally like red orange, deep orange from the wildfire smoke.

[00:22:47] Wojciech Wegrzynski: So I assume you had a lot of it this year. They had smoke in London from wildfires. So, so I guess this is, unfundable, aspect of, of it. And I, I wonder to what extent, it's also interesting to you, I mean, it [00:23:00] does not cause the significant damage, but it's a factor.

[00:23:03] Michael Gollner: It is hugely impactful. So where are risks? You know, so there's, there's, okay, there's material risks. We're talking about defending structures, and we can talk about the defensible space and, and prevent ignition on the structure. And then there's life safety. And the responding firefighters and how they do it, how we notify and evacuate people.

[00:23:27] Michael Gollner: Very important. A lot of people die evacuating as well. And the last is smoke. And the smoke a lot of times becomes a really long term hazard. Right? So like there can be long term effects from that, not just the acute. and it can extend for so far, yeah, there were orange skies, there's some. Photos of the Golden Gate Bridge glowing orange skies.

[00:23:52] Michael Gollner: I, I've seen those orange a kid. When I was 10 miles from a, I was right next to a wildfire [00:24:00] being a hundred miles away. That's weird. Like the whole state was covered. I mean, our state is. Is as big as a giant chunk of Europe. It's, it's a very large area

[00:24:10] Wojciech Wegrzynski: it's a state.

[00:24:12] Michael Gollner: so much there's some noxious stuff in that smoke.

[00:24:16] Michael Gollner: And so our, our lab, does work, on this cuz I think there's a huge role for us to play. our focus is understanding how change is in the combustion behavior. So we have an apparatus that's very similar to the tests they do for. Toxicity of different materials and buildings. So we heat it and we burn it under specific flow specific oxygen concentration, and we try to emulate the conditions that would occur outdoors for different combustion of different wild fuels.

[00:24:47] Michael Gollner: And we're moving to woo we now. Um, and so we work with a lab that exposes mice models, you uh, and sees their long term effects. One is, one might guess it's very bad to breathe this stuff in for a long time, [00:25:00] especially firefighters working. And we've also worked on masks and there are some chemicals in there that aren't filtered by normal masks, but 90% or more of the issue comes from particles.

[00:25:15] Michael Gollner: And we all went through a pandemic, right?

[00:25:17] Wojciech Wegrzynski: We know a lot about particles now.

[00:25:20] Michael Gollner: Bandana doesn't do anything. We did it in the lab, doesn't do anything. And that's all firefighters typically use. You need an equivalent of an N 95. that's not easy for a firefighter to wear and pack for 48 hours on the fire line. We need to, to change that, but. If your air quality index is getting really bad, it's very important to filter out those particles with a, a HEPA filter in the home and like an N 95 mask over your face because that gets deep into your lungs and there's some noxious stuff transporting around those particles.

[00:25:55] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Absolutely. Yeah. we don't have wildfires, but we have horrible air quality [00:26:00] in here, so I, I understand completely what you're saying. You and combustion particles are particles, and this, this stuff, especially sub 2.5, micrometer particles are, are extremely, extremely dangerous to long term health effects Now.

[00:26:16] Wojciech Wegrzynski: You've, uh, mentioned fire brands many times, uh, up to this point as one of the main, main things. Let, let's try and, talk to fire engineers who don't deal with, with this stuff like an idea what, um, fire brands can be because, uh, yeah, it's, uh, sometimes a little bigger than you would imagine.

[00:26:36] Michael Gollner: Yeah. Yeah. Well, you know, take any campfire, blow really hard and you see. You think of little sparks, but they're not sparks, they're little glowing embers. Just imagine now it's a forest and you blow the strength of a, of a really strong wind and the size of those things coming off can be large. But, but most of the hazard is actually from smaller [00:27:00] sizes, a couple centimeters in scale.

[00:27:01] Wojciech Wegrzynski: a charcoal size.

[00:27:04] Michael Gollner: charcoal and, and smaller. But somewhere between a large of charcoal and maybe a centimeter. Cuz it needs to be big enough to still have a lot of energy when it lands. It needs to be small enough to get picked up by the wind and blown ahead. And so,

[00:27:20] Wojciech Wegrzynski: there's particular size and weight, uh, where it's, uh, nastiest, right?

[00:27:25] Michael Gollner: and we can, that's, that's kind of how we figure out how far they're going to go as we find those maximum diff distance for certain particles. And you know, those, they're usually glowing. They can flame for a short period, but there's, there's like short range spotting. If you look at pictures from Australia, the bush fires, there's a lot of short range spotting because eucalyptus are adapted to that and their bark can still be flaming.

[00:27:48] Michael Gollner: And you'll see like flaming embers landing, but that's short range. The long range. The really dangerous to start new fires, which we call spot fires, is typically by smoldering pieces. [00:28:00] So that's the flameless combustion, like you're glowing, you're blowing on it, and it's getting like that. And that stuff can pile up even in like crevices or on your deck or in the corners.

[00:28:10] Michael Gollner: Um, and if that area is unprotected, then it can start smoldering the wood in your structure. And eventually we know that those fires, you get the right blow of wind, you get the right conditions, you get them large. They transition to flaming

[00:28:23] Wojciech Wegrzynski: What distances are we even talking about? Like 50 meters, a hundred meters kilometer?

[00:28:27] Michael Gollner: yeah, obviously it's a profile. A majority is probably within a few hundred meters, a few hundred

[00:28:34] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Few hundred.

[00:28:35] Michael Gollner: But if you get a large enough. Yeah, it's, it's far. If you get a large enough plume, if you get a fire whirl, if you get high winds,

[00:28:44] Track 1: Mm.

[00:28:44] Michael Gollner: then it's kilometers. So a good general rule is about two kilometers.

[00:28:49] Michael Gollner: a lot of the observations of maximum spotting distance becoming less and less likely as you go out, has been about two kilometers for spotting, but there have [00:29:00] been reports of maybe 10 to kilometers, tens of kilometers. It's probably rare. , but that one rare fire makes a big difference. Um, but it's been called a blizzard of embers.

[00:29:14] Michael Gollner: It is literally millions. They're everywhere. And so it's, we don't individually track. We're, we're really, I mean there are some studies individually looking at them, but we're, we're looking at this broad swath of ember stuff is flying everywhere, and we're more thinking, how far can it go? How far is it capable of Igni.

[00:29:33] Michael Gollner: The stuff outside a house, A itself, another forest fire. so how far is that? What's the probability that happens? and how does that change with weather and other conditions? So, so that's usually the way we're looking at the embers. And we still wanna learn more about different materials, structures.

[00:29:52] Michael Gollner: Structures can also create embers. Stuff flies off

[00:29:54] Michael Gollner: them.

[00:29:54] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Okay. I know, sorry.

[00:29:56] Michael Gollner: Yeah. Yeah. , uh, exterior, right?[00:30:00]

[00:30:01] Wojciech Wegrzynski: we, we, we've been there, we've done that. achieved an award for starting wildfire while doing external facade, flame spread tests. Uh, we had a type of, uh, insulation that was made of, Very well fire retarded foam, but there's a difference between non combustible and very, very, very well fire retarded things.

[00:30:21] Wojciech Wegrzynski: They're very, very, very well. Fire retarded things still burn , you know, that just depends on the scale of fire you expose them Uh, and in this case, we, we had, chunks of this, of this material deteriorate from the facade pick up by the convective. Fly away, we could wave them goodbye. I had the drone, I was chasing them in the air.

[00:30:42] Wojciech Wegrzynski: We had firefighters who tried to shoot them down with a stream of water. They were actually quite successful in shooting down the bigger ones. Uh, we were wondering like, This enough to start a wildfire? I don't know. Well, 15 minutes later came the answer with, with a nice plume [00:31:00] of smoke from a neighboring pile of, uh, rub and, and trash and wood.

[00:31:03] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Uh, luckily, uh, we, we had fire brigade, actually, we were on the fire brigade site during the experiment. We had fire brigade there like, Literally were in their, in their yard doing the test. So they, acted very quickly. So as soon as we saw smoke, we, we did, clean that. But, a, that's quite a good question.

[00:31:21] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Like it's not, just reserved for natural fires. if I think about it, you know, if I had this facade where this building I've burned. In the middle of a city with a strong. timber based, neighborhood, like a lot of, of, of structures with, with, flammable exterior.

[00:31:40] Wojciech Wegrzynski: There's a good chance I one could land in, in someone's houses and set it on fire. So it, I mean, we are talking today about wooey fires, but, we really maybe need to talk about ey fires out one day. You know, uh, it's, it's interesting How these things, uh, travel across the, the areas [00:32:00] of fire science.

[00:32:01] Michael Gollner: Well, there is a long history and we forget about just how often we had urban fires.

[00:32:09] Wojciech Wegrzynski: oh, absolutely. Yes.

[00:32:11] Michael Gollner: Japan is a leader. In post earthquake fires because when you turn off all the fire services, you break the roads and, and the gas leaks, urban ations come back to be a real problem. and, and there's such a history of this and so a great example I always tell my class is, Have you ever heard of the PGO fire?

[00:32:32] Track 1: No.

[00:32:33] Michael Gollner: No, Nobody has. Was it 1871? Have you heard of the Great Fire Chicago

[00:32:38] Michael Gollner: that burned down Chicago?

[00:32:39] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Yeah. That only, Yeah,

[00:32:40] michael_gollner: Yeah,

[00:32:41] Wojciech Wegrzynski: the

[00:32:41] Michael Gollner: the Chicago Fire. Same week,

[00:32:44] Track 1: same week.

[00:32:45] Michael Gollner: was the most destructive fire, uh, wildfire perhaps of its time. It was certainly the most deadly. It burned through whole communities, but I mean, those days in 18 hundreds, it burned.

[00:32:58] Michael Gollner: The newspapers, it burned [00:33:00] the telegraph lines. Nobody heard of it. And so actually the great fire of Chicago was much less, destructive in terms of loss of life. There were over 1200 fatalities in the PGO fire though, but we just, we don't hear about it because it kind of happened while it was in the outdoors.

[00:33:16] Michael Gollner: There were logging activities, but of course, the same weather pattern. Hot, dry, windy, and it was dry for quite a period. Drying out fuels was the same that happened in Chicago as happened Inigo in northern, uh, or northeast Wisconsin. And so as an area in the US near the Great Lakes. But it, it's just very interesting to see this and that we don't always talk about it and remember it, but there's so many histories.

[00:33:43] Wojciech Wegrzynski: every second big city had a major fire of that city. Like that's a tradition. And what do we learn after that? Make more space between buildings building in with stone. Preferably a hundred years later, we're again backed into Dance. Timber City, waiting for the next congregation.

[00:33:59] Wojciech Wegrzynski: [00:34:00] A story of mankind,

[00:34:01] Michael Gollner: Yeah. And so we build these suburban communities. but we've learned a lot. We don't have to forego timber to make a structure that's going safe, you know? Um, we've learned a little bit and, and we learned it on the inside. We put drywall, right? And, and, and drywall, is going to have a, fire rating.

[00:34:23] Michael Gollner: We have separation. We have spring loop, So, so we have a whole system designed smoke detectors to warn people to get up. Well, we just have to make sure that the exterior has something similar. don't flammable vital siding. Put stucco. And one of the biggest things is on the exterior, don't have gaps. Like all those little holes, all those little vents.

[00:34:44] Track 1: Mm-hmm.

[00:34:44] Michael Gollner: Embers just come right on in, ignite a couch, a paper, and attic, and light it up. even in, in-home sprinklers, we're not sure if they're that effective for wildfires because if the vents aren't sealed, the ember gets into the attic, [00:35:00] burns up the attic, and it collapses down on top of the sprinkler system, and now you've just got a big leak.

[00:35:05] Michael Gollner: And so we've seen a number. Of, and they're anecdotal. We don't have a full study. We don't have enough, unfortunately, but a lot of homes that burn from the inside out, even those that should be protected. Now, did the water system run out? Did the, We don't know. There isn't enough, evidence and enough data, but clearly we just have to tweak our thinking, and, and I'm not against, I mean, fire sprinklers are incredibly effective and safe, but interior sprinklers aren't designed.

[00:35:36] Michael Gollner: For this hazard, we gotta think about how that becomes part of the, the solution or not. The dos get included. I mean, we just, we need to keep those little embers from getting inside and that's gonna structure.

[00:35:50] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Yeah, I mean, they're designed for a different paradigm of fire. to start with, if you design sprinkle system, you assume one fire in one space, which you can contain a way,

[00:35:59] michael_gollner: [00:36:00] Yeah.

[00:36:00] Wojciech Wegrzynski: If you have a sprinkler system in your house, and it starts in two places at the same time, which may, because, uh, it's a lot of fire brands that may be find your way.

[00:36:06] Wojciech Wegrzynski: You, you may have a fire started, you may have a five, five tiny fires developing at the same time, each of them triggering a sprinkler. Why not? And the, the one will be enough to destroy your, your structure. So I mean, they're great, but not, not for this threat.

[00:36:20] Wojciech Wegrzynski: It, it, it, this is another, another way. So, I know from, following you that, that, there's a lot of work in, in us done to prepare. Because to mitigate the, the wildfire damage, I mean active protection, when the wildfire is there, it's a little bit too late and, you can evacuate at, at best. Now, what sort of research is carried where you guys are looking for answers to how to prepare?

[00:36:46] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Because I, I, I assume it must be like so, such a multi. Problem from, from basic technical stuff to, managing policies and, yeah. Telling politicians what to do, which probably is, is even harder.

[00:36:58] Michael Gollner: Absolutely. And I've [00:37:00] testified to Congress, it's very hard to tell politicians what to do. They have their own agenda. some listen, some don't. You know, the discussion certainly got derailed by an, an award-winning singer who, who was pushing for something, um, and, and had very good intentions.

[00:37:17] Michael Gollner: But, you know, science can be twisted by, by others. And. I think when we look at, at this problem, there's so many scales. Uh, we'll start at the biggest. We need a better managed forests. We need to do prescribed fires, getting small fires and landscape, and some of that requires jo down some trees, not the old growth, but younger ones that have filled in.

[00:37:42] Michael Gollner: If you look at a picture of a forest from the 18 hundreds to. The forests now are chock full of smaller trees. It used to be big trees and lots of clearing for most ecosystems. And so that's a problem and we need to get back to that and then we won't have as many giant fires, that are so [00:38:00] destructive even to the ecosystems over time.

[00:38:03] Wojciech Wegrzynski: So, so here the strategy would be to limit the maximum size of fire. So it eventually doesn't, reach this catastrophic level, like you've said, of 10 biggest wildfires that happened in the last few years

[00:38:15] Michael Gollner: Well, yeah. And so we're actually really good. We, we stop like 98% of fires when they start. It's only that smallest percentage on the worst possible day. The driest, the hottest, the windiest that escape. And those are the ones that become really big.

[00:38:30] michael_gollner: But

[00:38:31] Wojciech Wegrzynski: But that's every year, Man. That's horrible. . That's every

[00:38:34] Michael Gollner: we're getting the conditions that used to be every three years, three times a.

[00:38:38] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Okay.

[00:38:39] Michael Gollner: it doesn't matter how much we try to convince people with the Smokey the Bear campaign, not to light a fire, there's gonna be an accident. Fires have started from chains dragging behind a trailer on the road from lawnmowers, from the tailpipe of a fire engine that mail functions. I mean, fires have [00:39:00] started from everything.

[00:39:01] Michael Gollner: Sparks will happen. Kids, Yeah, you have kids. Kids will do something. Crazy that you could never imagine them doing and break something. So we wanna prevent the ignitions. We won't, we don't want power lines starting a lot of fires, but something will happen and we want the landscape to then have a fire that's not enormously intense.

[00:39:22] Michael Gollner: So it's not so much about the size, but it's about the intensity. So, yeah, some, you know, some ecosystems have always had big. And it's going to continue and, and it needs to do that. Like there are some trees that have what's called stand replacing. So it'll wipe through those trees, it'll come back and areas around there need to prepare for that.

[00:39:44] Michael Gollner: But the majority of the areas we can do work, especially near communities, to lower the intensity of those fires so they're not raging when they reach community. But we have to do it in advance. And most of. Requires us to have a prescribed fire. [00:40:00] If we, if we just clear some brush and chop down trees, it doesn't do it.

[00:40:04] Michael Gollner: The litter on the ground, all that stuff burns. And so we have to do the work and then burn it after some's ready to burn. Some needs that, and there's some risk to that, and it needs to be done safely. It needs to be done. there's been some issues with that, um, but I, I think it can be done safely and, and it's incredibly, incredibly important because then your, your homes are not experiencing that giant fire.

[00:40:31] Michael Gollner: So I don't work on that large scale so much. I work colleagues do that. Our lab focuses on things like what areas of the house need to be protected, How do the embers, how, how large of a. Is needed to ignite the deck. How does the crevice play a role? How does the wind into that fire play a role? Uh, we're trying to develop, there's really no model for a fire spread into a wooey community.

[00:40:58] Michael Gollner: So there are so many [00:41:00] aspects from the ember, the probability of that fire transitioning to ignite, from the home to home spread the different materials, and so that we're. Working in development of that model. And we're working with, colleagues like Chris Lautenberger and we're, we're trying to add this model into, to Elm Fire, which a fire spread model that he uses under active development. so that's a, that's a big push, is understanding this process to do that. understanding how different mitigation. So I talked a lot. You know, you want to use materials that don't ignite so wood. Really bad embers just catch in those little crevices and it's gonna ignite. It's, it's a perfect

[00:41:39] Michael Gollner: fire

[00:41:40] Track 1: where the fuel is. Yeah.

[00:41:41] Michael Gollner: It's horrible. so the wood roofs have to go. but what's best and how do you design that? How do you retrofit? Understanding the process so that people can make those decisions. And then the signs, you know, as we go out from the house, it's called Defensible space. within that closest region, right at the [00:42:00] base of the, of the walls in in the US is five feet.

[00:42:03] Michael Gollner: that area, if you have a fire, the flames are like right against the window, right against the and it's just too much for most materials. So the newest regulations in California that'll come out later this year or next, are gonna prohibit flammable materials in that area. Vegetation, anything. Get rid of the mulch.

[00:42:21] Michael Gollner: Put rock. Well, green watered grass is okay. generally is super hard to ignite, but it needs to be clear of any flammable material so that we don't have a fire that ignites the house easily. And if we prevent 90% of those starts in a community, the firefighters can handle the rest.

[00:42:43] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Okay. that's cool. I, I, I love working across the scale. I love working at the different subjects. I really like when you mentioned the MO modeling, the at community scale, like how the fires could transition from house. I think that is probably the most critical one because, uh, if you can, like you [00:43:00] said, limit. Ignitions by 90%. You, you've killed a lot of momentum from that fire. You maybe have not stopped it completely, but if significantly hindered it, ab its ability to spread and damage further into the city. And then, and then maybe we're back to the paradigm of where we can fight fires and not just, um, escape them.

[00:43:22] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Actually now, now as I think about it, on escaping wildfires, I had a really great interview with Erica Kuligowski and. That that was fun, but. for the end of the, of the show, it's, uh, we still have a few minutes. I want to, I want to hear your testimony about fire scientists escaping wildfire because, uh, I saw, uh, that on Twitter that you have, uh, witnessed, uh, some sort of, wildfire event that, at where you are.

[00:43:48] Wojciech Wegrzynski: And, and I would love to hear like, how was it to, to escape a fire? What, what were your observations from this? Uh, extremely realistic test.

[00:43:59] Michael Gollner: Well, [00:44:00] it's scary. I mean, you know, we moved, a couple the coast and we've been through, what plagues, earthquakes now, wildfires, uh, storms and we have the, the full gamut. But yeah, it was, I, you know, to

[00:44:13] Wojciech Wegrzynski: At least you don't have Republicans in California. That's, that's thing.

[00:44:19] Michael Gollner: No comment. We're not getting political here, you know, we, we we're, we're in a urban area. There's very little open space around us. It's, suburban, um, not too far from Berkeley, but, behind us, uh, the, the complex we live in, behind there, um, there's a, an open space on a hill, which has a lot trees. We know eucalyptus is a problem. and there was a string of arsons that day and there was a small breeze. It was actually not super dry. It was actually a decent relative humidity, small breeze. It wasn't blowing that hard. Uh, but we noticed a little plume of smoke and smelled a little something, from the other side of the hill.

[00:44:59] Michael Gollner: And then [00:45:00] we started seeing helicopters and then hearing fire trucks and. You know, but we didn't get any messages. Uh, and then we started tuning in and then we finally get a message that the other side of the hill is evacuating. Um, and then we're

[00:45:14] Michael Gollner: like,

[00:45:15] Michael Gollner: prepare. We're, we're you know, so, so the hills here, like the north east side is burning and we're on the southeast side, so we kind of have to go up and.

[00:45:25] Michael Gollner: But if it got to the top, it's gonna kind of spew our way. So,

[00:45:29] Michael Gollner: and there's no way to

[00:45:30] Track 1: gonna be pushed. Hmm.

[00:45:31] Michael Gollner: what's going on from where we are. And,

[00:45:34] Michael Gollner: I had just hurt my back on a hike. and this evacuation just finished it off. Uh, so we eventually have a message go out that says All areas, including our address, evacuate now. Life safety threat was like, Oh, oh, okay. Get our stuff. and then a helicopters overhead. Evacuate. Now there's a wildfire on the hill. Evacuate [00:46:00] now. Please don't your belongings go. Your we're going.

[00:46:05] Track 1: Sounds

[00:46:06] Michael Gollner: Got in the car. Yeah, it was really scary. It turned out to be fun. The firefighters containment line.

[00:46:12] Michael Gollner: It wasn't super dry, wasn't high winds. I mean, this was a low risk day, and yet the fire jumped up the hill so much brush hasn't been cleared for so long. but it's terrifying. And just, you know, we talk about evacuation, but being someone, and now I've learned, I, I have a small fracture on a vertebra, so, and that just did it and my leg went numb.

[00:46:35] Track 1: Mm.

[00:46:36] Michael Gollner: What do people with medical problems do in evacuation? And what there's a large, area? What do you do with kids?

[00:46:43] Wojciech Wegrzynski: were your kids at home or at school? when it happened. So that's lucky. If there were, if if that happened when they were at school, you would probably be at a lot of trouble, right?

[00:46:53] Michael Gollner: Yeah, it could be a whole other issue. at least we were together and we were able to make it out. [00:47:00] But, there was no one coming around to help. The messages were confusing in the end. I think our building actually was not, Being evacuated and the message was overreaching, but we got two messages.

[00:47:12] Michael Gollner: We got a text message from the city, and then we also had the helicopter overhead saying that our area needed to go.

[00:47:19] Wojciech Wegrzynski: people shouting to you from a helicopter sounds like a quite, uh,

[00:47:23] Michael Gollner: And then the cops on the on the road are saying different things. The communication was off. and got handled. Everything was safe. I wound up laying in bed for a few weeks after resting my back, but it was, you

[00:47:38] Michael Gollner: know, but it is so eye-opening to just see that we think of, Oh, we're gonna tell someone to do this, but when it actually happens, the communication system, we were lucky we got any message.

[00:47:49] Michael Gollner: Half the people we know on the. Didn't get a single message. They heard the helicopters, they saw this. it, it's strange in our digital age, and they have a really good app to [00:48:00] control the messaging and everything that it's still. Doesn't work quite right and the message doesn't get out in the right time.

[00:48:07] Michael Gollner: and then the direction on the street is, is being confused. And there were maybe four or five different fire departments that responded at once. I'm sure that changes the communication. So if it was an actual real disaster and happening in multiple areas, I'm nervous of what would happen.

[00:48:23] Wojciech Wegrzynski: And, did, did the of equation itself, uh, how did local, everyone getting into their cars huge congestion, or was it like, uh, steered by the local authorities and it was okay, or you were stuck in like three hour traffic jam.

[00:48:39] Michael Gollner: it was not, I mean, again, it was a small area. The hill is not, it's not that

[00:48:44] Wojciech Wegrzynski: But quite densely populated, I guess.

[00:48:47] Michael Gollner: It is densely populated. It was pretty orderly. I'm not sure everyone even evacuated. Luckily there were no houses lost. Again, the conditions were. We're pretty mild for this kind of fire. It was just, there was so much fuel and [00:49:00] someone started an arson fire or several that went up a steep slope, through a whole bunch of old eucalyptus brush.

[00:49:06] Michael Gollner: And so, you know, but it, you know, to see that and you're like, I don't live in the forest. I don't live in the hills. And I've always recognized there was a risk there, but I was like, it's not that but you know, it was great to see that after. They went through and, did a lot of, defensible space mitigation on this side of the hill.

[00:49:24] Michael Gollner: I'm not sure how impactful, but they, they brought it back ways and they went through and cleared trees. So at least it, it highlighted for the rest of this season, for everyone to do a little more work and to take a little more conscious about it.

[00:49:35] Wojciech Wegrzynski: if I recall correctly from, um, the interview with, with Arika, um, being involved in an event like that is significantly previous. Your reaction to the next, uh, ones, hopefully they will not come, but, uh, now as you say, the community seems better prepared. Mitigation is happening. The festival space is being created.

[00:49:54] Wojciech Wegrzynski: This is an outcome of, of a fire, luckily from, from a smaller. A smaller [00:50:00] one? Well, uh, Berkeley's not, not very in the middle of a, of a forest, so I guess,

[00:50:04] Michael Gollner: Well, so we're, we're at, We live, we're a little outside of Berkeley, but I, I'll take it back. Berkeley Hills is a massive fire hazard. It terrifies me. Uh, the 1991 Tunnel fire resulted in significant loss of life. Um, it was a Oakland Hills and a huge loss of houses. And, and the faculty that I know that were, were here at that. It's traumatic. Bringing up those events as they were driving out through smokey, windy roads, single lane, not knowing where they were going, trying to get out, and not everyone made it out. So the fire risk here is extreme and not all the mitigation, There's still wood roofs, there's still there's, there's still some things that just shock me that haven't been done.

[00:50:46] Michael Gollner: There are some areas that have been mitigated decently and others that have. Our campus has done a lot of work on mitigation, but that's only one small piece of the hill and you can't, and this is the bigger problem, [00:51:00] okay, everyone did defensible space this year. They're go, are they gonna forget next year?

[00:51:04] Michael Gollner: You have to maintain it and it costs money and I don't wanna change my roof. I mean, there are so many wood shingled buildings out here too. It's not just the roof, the whole building's made of wood. I'm like, it's a little scary.

[00:51:17] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Hearing that from fire scientists, it's, it's especially disturbing. Like, but uh, I guess this is, uh, when you think about a normal person, you need to make them aware of the risks to, to start working with the risk and, I guess work like, like what you're doing. Unfortunately the fire's happening and the media, media attention to them.

[00:51:38] Wojciech Wegrzynski: I guess at least one good thing that that it's, it's doing is, is building this understanding within the community that, that there might be a problem. And as you. These things happen now more often. You living in California for many, many years, you see these days happening like not every three years.

[00:51:54] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Now they're every one year and every three years we're gonna have a day that we never had, you know? [00:52:00] And that, that that's the, the most, the. Disturbing fact. And I'm very happy that there are scientists like you, a lot of them actually, that, work on this topic, that develop this, this, this field of knowledge.

[00:52:11] Wojciech Wegrzynski: And, fire engineering has definitely a huge role in, in making our environment, uh, safer for people. Both ways, to save an environment from people as well. Uh, Mike, if, if someone wants an easy, um, but more in depth introduction to what we have discussed, can you recommend some resources? Your, your still maintained, right?

[00:52:35] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Uh, the resource page of Berkeley, the gold chamber of Berkeley. Yes, I, I'll link to that for sure.

[00:52:42] Michael Gollner: Yeah, it's Fire Lab do and we have. Links to that I maintain to, you know, maps and resources for fires here. a lot of the resources we have are for protection. So, you know, we vaguely talked about it, but like, what if you do live in an area that might have a wildfire [00:53:00] risk? what do you do?

[00:53:01] Michael Gollner: Well, it has recommendations. You can change your events. You can clear fuels this far for this area. Um, so there's local stuff, but we have a lot of, of resources. For the US we also have links to. Things to track these fires and the smoke and, and the different conditions. I would say that there's, you know, we, we still lack some good like books and well in urban interface and all of that.

[00:53:24] Michael Gollner: There's some fantastic investigative reports by n I bhs, The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety has a lot of howtos videos and guides, uh, on protection and the National Fire Protection Association n fba. Some great series of videos, and other information. And, and I guess if you wanna get academic, probably it's best.

[00:53:47] Michael Gollner: There's, there's some reviews by, um, myself, Professor Fernandez, Pello um, Sam Manzello, Sayaka Suzuki. There's a couple reviews out there and, and I think most of them are up [00:54:00] to date. And you can look at different protection measures, what we understand about embers, and get into the academic side there. and just don't forget.

[00:54:08] Michael Gollner: You know, I'm, I'm only one, one piece in the cog, but understanding the science is important, but getting people to do something is, is so hard. And so I, I admit, I didn't recognize the huge role of the social science side when I started working in warehouse fires and buildings. But you start looking at wildfires, it get no impact without making it happen.

[00:54:31] Michael Gollner: And you really need, that other side of the science to, to make a difference.

[00:54:36] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Yeah, absolutely. I had on a podcast, Cathejline Stuff, uh, who's leader of the PyroLife project here in Europe and. if I'm not wrong, 16 or 18 PhDs pursuing their PhD around, uh, wildfire urban interface topic. And many, many of them are oriented on communication, the risk, transferring knowledge from parts of the Europe to other parts of the Europe [00:55:00] in, in general in communication space.

[00:55:01] Wojciech Wegrzynski: And it's fascinating to see. It's as important as, you know, understanding the, the, fire dynamics. Like it's great that you understand fire dynamics, Michael, but if your neighbor doesn't know that, uh, principles, very, very basic principles, your house is now at risk because o of them. So yeah, communication is, is one of the keys.

[00:55:21] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Michael, uh, as usual, it was fantastic to catch up with you, great to, see you well and improving and, Looking forward to, to next, possibility to chat with you here.

[00:55:34] Michael Gollner: It's always a pleasure and, uh, just a, a major thank you for putting all the effort into getting this great resource for the fire community out there.

[00:55:43] Wojciech Wegrzynski: And that's it. So thank you very much, Michael. And thank you for coming to the show. Thank you for bringing all the knowledge about wild land, urban interface, and thank you for sharing your personal stories. And, uh, especially how you've encountered the wildfire evacuation while being partially disabled. [00:56:00] And bringing a whole new view on this story. It's always interesting that we are. Very good. That theory we know a lot, but when you encounter fire, Some stuff doesn't really fit the image. You've had in your And, uh, sometimes you have to experience fire to somehow understand fire and, uh,

[00:56:19] Wojciech Wegrzynski: As a fire scientist who spends a lot of time in the fire laboratory setting fires to different objects and buildings. I certainly appreciate being able to experience this behavior firsthand because it helps me understand it much better. The amount of challenges that Michael has brought into this episode, just show you how vast the world of wildland urban interface challenges is. And there's no way of a single podcast episode can cover it all.

[00:56:46] Wojciech Wegrzynski: a lot of resources has been listed. Many of them will be in the show notes to the episode. So if you like to follow. Please do so you can find a lot of knowledge at the IBHS or NFPA website or [00:57:00] Michael's webpage at . Fire That's a great place to start digging for resources. And if you liked this topic, I have not done.

[00:57:09] Wojciech Wegrzynski: A lot of wildfire. Podcast episodes yet. So. If you enjoy that subject, please let me I would love to hear from a fire engineers who do buildings is, is this a. Subject of matter. That is interesting to you. Would you like to see more of that? Content in the podcast for me is a great.

[00:57:28] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Opportunity to learn something. I don't really know that much about, so. Certainly, I guess I'll bring more wildfire researchers into the show, but it's up to you. How many of them will be here? What's the next topic on the podcast? I always try to listen to the voice of my audience. So. If you have a good idea, please share it.

[00:57:49] Wojciech Wegrzynski: And, yeah, one more thing as usual, .

[00:57:52] Wojciech Wegrzynski: I would like to ask you once again for your five-star support for the You cannot believe how important that is to me [00:58:00] as the podcaster and the podcast to receive these five star ratings, it really, really changes the position of the shoe in all the lists and rankings. And it helps the podcast be discovered by people who may actually use it.

[00:58:15] Wojciech Wegrzynski: For some good. And also, if you have some friends who has not been exposed to this show yet, please share this episode. With them or ones that they find more interesting. Anyway, thank you very much for being here with me and I'm looking forward to see you here next Wednesday.