The term wildland-urban interface was first described in the context of fire and fire fighting. Fire managers noticed that as development moved into rural areas new problems were occurring that they were not trained for.
In 1985, after the loss of over 1400 homes in Florida and California fires, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) met and the concept known as the wildland-urban interface emerged. A direct result of the meeting was the development of the National Firewise program. A basic concept of the Firewise program is that responsibility is shared between homeowners, planners, and developers as well as fire managers for the safety of all in the interface.