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Cal Poly establishing new institute to research wildfires, prevention strategies

Posted at 11:01 AM, Dec 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-11 14:01:32-05

Cal Poly is establishing a new institute to research wildfires and fire prevention strategies.

The new Cal Poly Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) FIRE Institute will focus on problem spots, where natural environments meet man-made environments.

Officials say that area, known as the wildland-urban interface, is the most frequent source of declared disasters in California and it's getting worse with climate change.

Cal Poly researchers have already been studying WUI fires and prevention strategies for years, but establishing the institute allows for more project opportunities and funding.

The WUI FIRE Institute is the first of its kind at a California university.

“We’ve had faculty across the university doing work in wildland-urban interface fires and wildland fires for decades,” said Professor Chris Dicus in the natural resources and environmental sciences department. “Thanks to these cross-disciplinary relationships at Cal Poly and with local and statewide partners, we have an incredible infrastructure on which to build the WUI FIRE Institute.”