Feds developing "Richter" scale for wildfires
Posted at: 09/24/2013 6:35 AM
By: Associated Press | WHEC.com
Earthquakes can be measured, so why not wildfires?
Federal researchers are working on the answer, and their system to measure and predict the destructiveness of wildfires is similar to the way earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes are gauged.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology hopes its Wildland Urban Interface Hazard Scale will tell residents the likely intensity of a wildfire burning into their neighborhood. The scale would allow city planners to assign better building codes for the millions of people who live in fire-prone areas in the West and would also measure how those homes could contribute to the spread of a fire.
The proposed scale would range from E1 to E4 - with E4 being a location's highest exposure to fire.