Webinar instructions will be emailed before the date of the webinar.
Please log into the webinar 15 – 30 minutes before start time.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023
8:30 am – 4:00 pm PDT

Presented by: Yana Valachovic and Stephen Quarles, PhD

Wildfire Basics and Current Issues

  • Recent large-loss wildfires and their significance for planning
  • Mitigation strategy progression: government, private sector and insurance industry response
  • Causes and spread of wildfire
  • Ignition scenarios in the built environment
  • Evaluating hazard

Reducing the Vulnerability of the Built Environment: Overview

  • Coupled approach: built environment and parcel-level actions
  • Vegetation management
    • Zones and goals/objectives
    • Nomenclature differences
    • Relevant regulations: PRC 4291 and others
  • Built environment
    • Relevant regulations
    • Material and “assembly” response
    • Reducing vulnerability

Reducing the Vulnerability of the Built Environment: In-depth

  • Vegetation management for a fire-resistant landscape
    • Trees, shrubs and grasses: woody and non-woody
    • Combustibility considerations
    • Selection, placement and maintenance
  • Built environment
    • Embers: direct and indirect scenarios
    • Components: roof, under-eave, exterior wall and attachments
    • System issues

Mitigation Strategies

  • New vs. existing construction
  • Vegetation and other combustibles on the property
    • Creating discontinuity
    • Sheds, ADUs and RVs
    • Retaining walls
  • Built environment
    • Roof covering
    • Local versus global replacement: siding and decking
    • Noncombustible zone (vertical): use of flashing
    • Under-eave enclosure
    • Vent and window considerations
    • Issues unique to multi-family and commercial buildings

Community Issues

  • Land use planning
  • Assessment options: governmental, government sponsored and private/third-party
  • Educational organizations

Webinar Instructions

All attendees must log-on through their own email – attendees may not watch together if they wish to earn continuing education credit. HalfMoon Education Inc. must be able to prove attendance if either the attendee or HalfMoon Education Inc. is audited.

Certificates of completion can be downloaded in PDF form upon passing a short quiz. A link to the quiz will be sent to each qualifying attendee immediately after the webinar. The certificate can be downloaded from the Results page of the quiz upon scoring 80% or higher.

This webinar will be presented via Zoom. Instructions and login information will be provided in an email sent close to the date of the webinar. For more information, please contact HalfMoon Customer Service at, or visit It is highly recommended that you download, install and test the application before the webinar begins by clicking on the link in the email.

Web Browser:
The two most recent versions of the following browsers:
Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Microsoft Edge

Internet connection: Minimum of 1Mbps       Hardware: 2GB RAM or more


Professional Engineers:
6.0 PDHs

6.0 HSW CE Hours

Landscape Architects:
6.0 HSW CE Hours

International Code Council:
.6 CEUs (Fire)

Certified Planners:

Continuing Education Credit Information

This webinar is open to the public and is designed to qualify for 6.0 PDHs for professional engineers, 6.0 HSW continuing education hours for licensed architects, and 6.0 HSW continuing education hours for landscape architects in all states that allow this learning method. Please refer to specific state rules to determine eligibility.

HalfMoon Education is an approved continuing education sponsor for engineers in Florida (Provider No. 0004647), Indiana (License No. CE21700059), Maryland, New Jersey (Approval No. 24GP00000700) and North Carolina (S-0130). HalfMoon Education is deemed an approved continuing education sponsor for New York engineers, architects and landscape architects via its registration with the American Institute of Architects Continuing Education System and Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (Regulations of the Commissioner §68.14(i)(2) and §69.6(i)(2)). Other states do not preapprove continuing education providers or courses.

The American Institute of Architects Continuing Education System has approved this course for 6.0 HSW LUs (Sponsor No. J885). Only full participation is reportable to the AIA/CES.

The Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System has approved this course for 6.0 HSW PDHs. Only full participation is reportable to the LA CES.

The International Code Council has approved this event for .6 CEUs in the specialty area of Fire (Preferred Provider No. 1232).

HalfMoon Education is an approved CM Provider with the American Planning Association. This course is registered for CM | 6 for Certified Planners.

Completion certificates will be awarded to participants who complete this event and earn a passing score (80%) on the quiz that follows the presentation (multiple attempts allowed).

On-Demand Credits

The preceding credit information only applies to the live presentation. This course in an on-demand format may not be eligible for the same credits as the live presentation; please consult your licensing board(s) to ensure that a structured, asynchronous learning format is appropriate. The following pre-approvals may be available for the on-demand format upon request:

6.0 HSW LUs (AIA)


Stephen Quarles, PhD

 University of California Cooperative Extension Advisor Emeritus

After 26 years with the University of California, Mr. Quarles retired in 2011, and joined the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) Research Center team in Richburg, SC. He retired from IBHS in 2018 as the Chief Scientist for Wildfire and Durability. At both the University of California and IBHS Mr. Quarles’ research and outreach efforts focused on durability and in-service performance issues of buildings subjected to wildfire exposures. During 2007 and 2008, Mr. Quarles worked half-time for the California Office of the State Fire Marshal where he developed, coordinated and served as an instructor for the educational program related to the Wildland Urban Interface (wildfire) Building Code and Standards (Chapter 7A in the California Building Code). Quarles served on the initial WUI Task Group that made recommendations to the Office of the State Fire Marshal for Chapter 7A and has served on subsequent task groups. Mr. Quarles is a member of the American Society of Testing and Materials, and he is chair of ASTM E05.14 Subcommittee on Exterior Fire. He is a member of the National Fire Protection Association, the International Association of Wildfire Fire, the Forest Products Society, the American Wood Protection Association and the Association of Fire Ecology. Mr. Quarles earned a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech (Blacksburg) and Master’s and PhD degrees from the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis-St. Paul). He is a former member of the NFPA Technical Committee on Forest and Rural Fire Protection (2013-2018) and former Editor-in-Chief, Forest Products Journal (2010-2017).

Yana Valachovic

County Director – Forest Advisor for the University of California Cooperative Extension in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties

Ms. Valachovic is passionate about finding solutions to challenging problems bringing her skills in forestry, natural resources and sociological research, design and mitigation of the built environment for wildfire resilience, as well as her years rooted in County government and community engagement. She is a member of the California Governor’s Wildfire Forest Resilience Task Force and other California state fire policy workgroups. Ms. Valachovic is the co-lead of the Northern California region of the California Fire Science Consortium and is a founding member of the Northern California Prescribed Fire Council. She has co-authored papers on fire behavior in California forests and the intersection of fire performance in home and landscape design. She is active in California policy development and has been a technical resource for bioenergy, forest management, home hardening, and improvements to defensible space legislation. She will share her experience from post-fire assessments that have helped craft her vision for adaptation.

AIA Info

AIA Provider Statement:

HalfMoon Education Inc. is a registered provider of AIA-approved continuing education under Provider Number J885. All registered AIA/CES Providers must comply with the AIA Standards for Continuing Education Programs. Any questions or concerns about this provider of learning program may be sent to AIA/CES ( or (800) AIA 3837, Option 3).

This learning program is registered with AIA/CES for continuing professional education. As such, it does not include content that may be deemed or construed to be an approval or endorsement by the AIA of any material of construction or any method or manner of handling, using, distributing, or dealing in any material or product.

AIA continuing education credit has been reviewed and approved by AIA/CES. Learners must complete the entire learning program to receive continuing education credit. AIA continuing education Learning Units earned upon completion of this course will be reported to AIA/CES for AIA members. Certificates of Completion for both AIA members and non-AIA members are available upon request.

Course Title: Wildfire and the Built Environment: Landscape and Construction Issues

Delivery Method: Live Online

Course Description: This six-hour course discusses the science and current issues pertaining to wildfires and provides design professionals with specific strategies that reduce the vulnerability of and mitigate damages to the landscape and built environment.

Learning Objectives:

Learning Objective 1:
Learners will be able to discuss ignition scenarios in the built environment, the causes and spread of wildfires, and the evaluation of hazards.

Learning Objective 2:
Learners will be able to adopt design methods to reduce the vulnerability of the built environment in both direct and indirect scenarios with a focus on roofs, exterior walls, and attachments.

Learning Objective 3:
Learners will be able to adopt methods of vegetation management to reduce the vulnerability of the landscape, such as proper selection, placement, and maintenance of trees, shrubs and grasses.

Learning Objective 4:
Learners will be able to utilize the concept of discontinuity to mitigate damage to the landscape, and roof coverings, under-eave enclosures, and windows to mitigate damage to the built environment.

LUs: 6.0                                                                                              LU Type: LU|HSWs.

Prerequisites: None

Advance Preparation: None

Program Level: Intermediate

Course Expiration Date: 07/28/2026

Complaint Resolution Policy:

Complaints regarding this course can be emailed to or by calling (715) 835-5900. A HalfMoon Education representative will respond within 72 hours to resolve the complaint, which will include, but not limited to, access to another CE activity at no or reduced cost or a full or partial refund. Each instance will be resolved on a case-by-case situation.