SALT LAKE CITY — Utah residents who live in wildfire prone area should be warned that a new study says they should not have wood shingles on their homes.
The new report is from Headwaters Economics, a western U.S. think tank, and written by their policy lead and wildfire researcher Kimiko Barrett.
“So wood roofs are the most vulnerable component of a home to a wildfire. Because they are the largest surface area,” Barrett said.
The reason roofs are the first line of defense for a structure is because fires tend to attack from the air.
“It's actually embers that fly miles ahead of a wildfire,” added Barrett.
Barrett said data is unavailable for much of the U.S., including from most Utah counties, but even the currently limited information shows well over a million such homes in the country, including more than five thousand in the state.
The data the researchers worked with only had about a quarter of the nation's roofs assessed. with only Davis, Utah and Weber counties represented in Utah.