Concrete Pipe Crucial to Fire Resistant Infrastructure Planning and Construction
July 5, 2022

Categories | Concrete Pipe & Precast

Concrete Pipe Crucial to Fire Resistant Infrastructure Planning and Construction

Wildfire risk continues to increase across the United States, causing engineers to specify more fire resistant infrastructure to manage risk and reduce the threat to people and property. According to an analysis by the First Street Foundation, one in six Americans live in an area of significant wildfire risk, and the cost of wildfires annually is measured in billions of dollars. Faced with those numbers, state and federal government bodies, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, are planning for and investing in fire resistant infrastructure.

County Materials’ Reinforced Concrete Pipe meets the demand for reliable infrastructure. Unlike other materials used for storm water management, concrete pipe is inherently fire resistant. That durability ensures that concrete pipe installed beneath roadways remains structurally intact during wildfires, protecting evacuation routes and access for firefighters. Petroleum-based infrastructure materials may even contribute to the spread of a wildfire. The National Institute of Science and Technology reported that plastic and metal culverts collapsed during the 2018 Camp Fire in Paradise, California. 

Congress passed the Disaster Recovery Reform Act in 2018 to address the growing cost of the federal response to natural disasters by investing federal dollars in hardening vulnerable assets before the next disaster strikes. This legislation highlights the need for strong, resilient evacuation routes and identified several performance standards that Congress was seeking for evacuation routes:

  • The ability to “withstand likely risks to viability, including flammability and hydrostatic forces” 
  • Improved durability and strength, including the ability to withstand tensile and compressive stresses

When communities recover from wildfires, they must restore public infrastructure. Reinforced concrete pipe installed before a disaster speeds recovery and may prevent further damage as it provides erosion protection during extinguishing efforts. County Materials’ ability to quickly deliver readily available pipe can contribute to more rapid recovery.

DRRA Source: PUBL254 (