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First-of-its-Kind Institute Researching Holistic Solutions To Prevent Destructive Wildfires


A first-of-its kind institute researching holistic solutions to prevent destructive wildfires has been set up on the Central Coast.   

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo has partnered with industry and community members to officially establish a unique organization focused on wildfires and risk reduction strategies, tactical and technical firefighting practices, and more resilient methods of building in fire-prone areas.

The Cal Poly Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) FIRE Institute will focus on the area known as the wildland-urban interface, which is where the natural environment meets the built environment.

Fires in the wildland-urban interface make up the most frequent source of declared disasters in California and are becoming increasingly more frequent and damaging because of climate change.

“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.”

Credit Chris Dicus

The project is funded through the Strategic Research Initiatives (SRI) program, a partnership between Academic Affairs, Research, Economic Development, and Graduate Education and University Development.

For more information about the SRI program, visit

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