Austin wildfire codes may require homeowners to build to new standards

Local wildfire experts say new building codes set to protect homes from brush fires will become increasingly more important as new construction on the outskirts of the city encroaches onto wildlands. 

Austin’s Wildland-Urban Interface Code, or WUI, a set of rules requiring ignition-resistant materials and landscape requirements for areas most at risk for widespread wildfires, was implemented at the start of the year for many new homes and remodels just as Austin’s housing market began to rebound after the pandemic.  

Now six months into the new WUI Code enforcements, Austin Wildfire Mitigation Officer Justice Jones said homes now under construction and adopting the WUI Code standard will be the future barrier to help protect Austin from wildfires. Some of the building changes in the new rules include roof and siding requirements, in addition to the mandatory installation of vent and chimney covers, according to Jones. 

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