It’s a Wrap! The Forest Service Is Wrapping Historic Structures To Protect Them From Wildfires

Similar protective covering is used as emergency shelters by firefighters

wildfire house
Science Photo Library/Corbis

As wildfires rage along the west coast of North America this summer, firefighters are pulling out all the stops to keep the conflagrations at bay. But fires this large inevitably cause destruction. And in order to protect historic structures in central California, groups of archaeologists are wrapping the buildings in sheets of protective material. 

The fire sheilding material, available commercially, looks a bit like aluminum foil, reports ABC station KFSN

The wrap is similar to fire shelters that crews can use in an emergency, for personal safety. The building wrap is thicker. And while it's said to protect from most radiant heat and burning embers, the Forest Service says it's not fire proof. 

Though the flame retardant material is good at keeping the heat at bay, it has to be secured with staples and special kinds of tape to ensure that the high winds of a wildfire won’t peel away the protective coating. Wrapping a cabin in the material can take $1,200 worth of material and 6-7 hours of work to secure a building, reports the Ravalli Republic, a local Montana paper.

[H/t Archaeology Magazine]

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