On May 12, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed SB23-166, a new law establishing a Wildfire Resiliency Code Board to enhance building codes, bolster fire-resistant construction, and protect against wildfire risks in the state’s wildland-urban interface (WUI) areas.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and International Code Council strongly supported SB23-166 and have praised its passage, with the NFPA calling it “landmark” legislation.
“This is a tremendous step forward for expanding wildfire mitigation in Colorado and recognizes the need for policy action to better withstand the impact of wildfires,” said Jim Pauley, president and CEO of the NFPA.
According to the ICC, the 21-member Wildfire Resiliency Code Board will be appointed by September 2023 and must adopt initial rules, based on best-practice approaches such as the International Wildland-Urban Interface Code (IWUIC), by July 1, 2025. In addition to adopting wildfire codes and standards, the Wildfire Resiliency Code Board is charged with defining the WUI and identifying the areas of Colorado that are included within it.
“We look forward to partnering with the Wildfire Resiliency Code Board as it considers best practices and model codes,” said Karl Fippinger, the ICC’s VP of fire and disaster mitigation.
Colorado has witnessed the devastating impact of wildfires, with four of the state’s largest wildfires occurring in the past three years. Fires in 2020 and 2021 led to the destruction of nearly 1,500 structures, causing an estimated $3.3 billion in insured losses. In addition, two people were killed in the 2021 Marshall Fire.
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