USA — Boise, Id., is proposing an updated set of fire standards for new homes that would mean stricter codes and safer structures in hazard areas, reports Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. The proposed codes are among the recommendations in a 22-page draft report spurred by the Aug. 25 Oregon Trail Fire that killed one woman, destroyed 10 homes and damaged nine others. Boise plans to adopt the standards in 2009. Some of the proposed codes include fireproof building materials, sprinkler systems and defensible space for existing and future development in the expanded wildland-urban interface fire hazard area.
Existing property owners would not be forced to retrofit their homes to meet the new regulations. Renovations occurring after the proposed codes are adopted, however, would be required to comply, although for specific area being worked on. If renovations cost more than 50% of a home’s value, the entire home would need to comply the standards.
“For the most part, these regulations would affect new development more than they would affect existing development,” Hal Simmons, Boise planning director, told Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. “We would not make people rebuild their entire homes to meet the new wildfire standards.”