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Implementation of a Vulnerability Assessment Tool for Properties at the Wildland-Urban Interface Based on Real Case Studies †

Centre for Technological Risk Studies, Department of Chemical Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Presented at the Third International Conference on Fire Behavior and Risk, Sardinia, Italy, 3–6 May 2022.
Environ. Sci. Proc. 2022, 17(1), 104;
Published: 29 August 2022
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of The Third International Conference on Fire Behavior and Risk)
Wildland–Urban Interface (WUI) fires pose great management challenges in terms of civil protection and fire mitigation, as firefighters’ capacities are often exceeded due to the need of simultaneous response to wildfire suppression, community evacuation, and structure protection [1]. If the number of burning and vulnerable dwellings overwhelms the local fire response capability, the fire protection effectiveness is reduced, and many homes may be left unattended [2]. Self-protection has thus become a growing necessity, and focus must be placed on the creation of fire-adapted communities, which can safely co-exist with wildfires [1]. To aid the attainment of this goal, we implemented a Vulnerability Assessment Tool (VAT) [3] that can assist homeowners in the identification of the risks and vulnerabilities of their properties located at the WUI. This tool consists of a checklist implemented as an online web tool that can be filled in by the homeowners themselves and takes into account the different paths that can lead to a fire entering the building. It is based on a fault tree analysis that accounts for building vulnerabilities (i.e., glazing systems, rooves and gutters, etc.) as well as for different types of fuels (i.e., wildland fuels, ornamental vegetation, and artificial fuels) located within a radius of 30 m around the building. The result of the checklist consists in the quantification of the probability of fire entrance in the building and identifies the different issues that need to be addressed in order to reduce this probability. This tool is validated by applying it to two communities that were exposed to a wildfire during the summer of 2021, one in Lloret de Mar (Spain) and the other one in the municipalities of Castro Marim and Tavira in Portugal.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, P.V., A.À and E.P. (Elsa Pastor); methodology, P.V., A.À and E.P. (Elsa Pastor); validation, P.V. and A.À.; formal analysis, P.V.; investigation, P.V., A.À and E.P. (Elsa Pastor); writing—original draft preparation, P.V.; writing—review and editing, A.À., E.P. (Elsa Pastor), E.P. (Eulàlia Planas); supervision, E.P.(Elsa Pastor), E.P. (Eulàlia Planas); project administration, E.P. (Elsa Pastor) and E.P. (Eulàlia Planas); funding acquisition, E.P. (Elsa Pastor) and E.P. (Eulàlia Planas). All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This research was funded by the project PID2020-114766RB-100 of MCIN/ AEI/10.13039/501100011033.

Institutional Review Board Statement

Not applicable.

Informed Consent Statement

Not applicable.

Data Availability Statement

Not applicable.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


  1. Vacca, P.; Caballero, D.; Pastor, E.; Planas, E. WUI fire risk mitigation in Europe: A performance-based design approach at home-owner level. J. Saf. Sci. Resil. 2020, 1, 97–105. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  2. Caton, S.E.; Hakes, R.S.P.; Gorham, D.J.; Zhou, A.; Gollner, M.J. Review of Pathways for Building Fire Spread in the Wildland Urban Interface Part I: Exposure Conditions. Fire Technol. 2017, 53, 429–473. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  3. Vacca, P.; Agueda, A.; Planas, E.; Sjöström, J.; Plathner, F.; Hallberg, E.; Ribeiro, L.M.; Almeida, M.; Caballero, D. WUIVIEW Deliverable D7.2 Report on Case Studies. 2021. Available online: (accessed on 17 December 2021).
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vacca, P.; Àgueda, A.; Pastor, E.; Planas, E. Implementation of a Vulnerability Assessment Tool for Properties at the Wildland-Urban Interface Based on Real Case Studies. Environ. Sci. Proc. 2022, 17, 104.

AMA Style

Vacca P, Àgueda A, Pastor E, Planas E. Implementation of a Vulnerability Assessment Tool for Properties at the Wildland-Urban Interface Based on Real Case Studies. Environmental Sciences Proceedings. 2022; 17(1):104.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vacca, Pascale, Alba Àgueda, Elsa Pastor, and Eulàlia Planas. 2022. "Implementation of a Vulnerability Assessment Tool for Properties at the Wildland-Urban Interface Based on Real Case Studies" Environmental Sciences Proceedings 17, no. 1: 104.

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