A modular home manufacturer has witnessed the devastation that wildfires have brought within the last year and come up with a solution to protect homeowners.
Atlas Modular Solutions from Lavington in British Columbia, Canada, has developed fire-resistant properties that not only will protect from the threat of wildfires but can also be constructed in as little as six weeks, providing a rapid solution for those who have lost their homes.
“The Okanagan Valley in recent years has seen a huge number of losses due to forest fires of homes,” company vice president Jesse Musial told Global News. “Our hearts go out to those that have lost a home due to fire, and we feel that we have something to offer to those who are looking to do everything they can to avoid that situation.”
According to NASA’s Earth Observatory, an estimated 18.4 million hectares were burned in Canada in 2023, an area roughly the same size as North Dakota. That’s compared to a typical yearly average of 2.5 million hectares.
British Columbia was particularly hard hit, experiencing what NASA described as “megafires,” or fires that exceeded 10,000 hectares. The organization said that summer lightning storms were partly to blame for the blazes.
Atlas Modular Solutions’ homes are built using entirely non-combustible or certified flame-resistant materials, while the wood features of steel-frame homes are given a fire-retardant coating.
The cost is around 10% more than the company’s typical wood-framed homes, but homebuyers likely won’t be put off by the slightly more expensive homes because of the benefits they provide.
While Canada’s mass burning events were put down to lightning, wildfires elsewhere, such as in Chile, Hawaiʻi, and California, were likely exacerbated by hot and dry conditions, which are lasting longer because of global heating.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States confirmed that 2023 was the hottest year on record, and should such temperatures persist, it’s likely that wildfire events will become more frequent.
Solutions such as this will at least give homeowners some peace of mind during these traumatic events. But reducing planet-warming pollution from vehicles, industry, energy, construction, and agriculture is essential to stop temperatures from rising so rapidly in the first place.
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