Wake County Hazard Mitigation Plan - January 2020


Table 4.87 – Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources Buildings at Risk to Wildfire by Sector


Number of Buildings at Risk

Estimated Damages

Commercial Facilities

7 7

$11,385,851 $24,434,636

Critical manufacturing

Food and Agriculture



Transportation Systems



All Categories



Source: NCEM Risk Management Tool


Wildfires have the potential to destroy forest and forage resources and damage natural habitats. Wildfire can also damage agricultural crops on private land. Wildfire is part of a natural process, however, and the environment will return to its original state in time. Consequence Analysis

Table 4.88 summarizes the potential detrimental consequences of wildfire. Table 4.88 – Consequence Analysis - Wildfire




In addition to the potential for fatalities, wildfire and the resulting diminished air quality pose health risks. Exposure to wildfire smoke can cause serious health problems within a community, including asthma attacks and pneumonia, and can worsen chronic heart and lung diseases. Vulnerable populations include children, the elderly, people with respiratory problems or with heart disease. Even healthy citizens may experience minor symptoms, such as sore throats and itchy eyes. Public and firefighter safety is the first priority in all wildland fire management activities. Wildfires are a real threat to the health and safety of the emergency services. Most fire-fighters in rural areas are 'retained'. This means that they are part- time and can be called away from their normal work to attend to fires. Wildfire events can result in a loss of power which may impact operations. Downed trees, power lines and damaged road conditions may prevent access to critical facilities and/or emergency equipment. Wildfires frequently damage community infrastructure, including roadways, communication networks and facilities, power lines, and water distribution systems. Restoring basic services is critical and a top priority. Efforts to restore roadways include the costs of maintenance and damage assessment teams, field data collection, and replacement or repair costs. Direct impacts to municipal water supply may occur through contamination of ash and debris during the fire, destruction of aboveground distribution lines, and soil erosion or debris deposits into waterways after the fire. Utilities and communications repairs are also necessary for equipment damaged by a fire. This includes power lines, transformers, cell phone towers, and phone lines. Wildfires cause damage to the natural environment, killing vegetation and animals. The risk of floods and debris flows increases after wildfires due to the exposure of bare ground and the loss of vegetation. In addition, the secondary effects of wildfires, including erosion, landslides, introduction of invasive species, and changes in water quality, are often more disastrous than the fire itself. Wildfires can have significant short-term and long-term effects on the local economy. Wildfires, and extreme fire danger, may reduce recreation and tourism in and near the fires. If aesthetics are impaired, local property values can decline. Extensive fire


Continuity of Operations (including Continued Delivery of Services) Property, Facilities and Infrastructure


Economic Condition of the Jurisdiction

Wake County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan 2019


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