The Tragedy of High-Rise Fires

In November of 2019, we suffered what appeared to be just another tragic high-rise fire in a string of devastating high-rise fires spanning decades. We once again began to ask ourselves if this is the one; the one that speaks to the Honorable Judge Hayes’s quote. We have done so much and yet we continue to suffer tragic high-rise fires. The question is not about what has been done, the question is, are we living “above our ability”? The answer is, “No.” This trend continues despite all that we have accomplished in the model codes. 

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Conflagration -Say It Three Times Fast

Conflagration is defined as, a large disastrous and destructive fire that threatens human life, animal life, health, and/or property. We have started to hear words like this, along with new ones like Megafire, a large fire devastating areas of 100,000 or more acres. Only three percent of fires reach the Megafire level, but they are responsible for fifty percent of the total burned areas on the planet. Today, we also talk in terms of Giga fires, these fires are typically classified as fires greater than one million acres. While the terms are often being used to describe wildland fires, this cannot distract from the destructive nature of these large-scale fires.

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