Historic cabin wrapped in 'foil' for fire protection

August 19, 2015


Historic cabin wrapped in 'foil' for fire protection

Posted: Aug 18, 2015 4:04 PM CDT Updated: Aug 18, 2015 4:53 PM CDT
Photo: Twitter/@GPNF
Photo: Twitter/@GPNF

It looks like the work of pranksters, but the aluminum foil-like material covering a cabin in southwestern Washington serves a very important purpose: to protect the historic structure from wildfire.

The Gotchen Creek Cabin is the oldest building in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and it's close enough to the nearby Cougar Creek Fire that park officials are worried about it burning.

So they wrapped every inch of it, from the porch steps all the way up to the chimney.

The national forest posted a photo on Twitter Tuesday that shows the cabin completely encased in the metallic material:

The Washington Department of Natural Resources wrote in a blog post in 2012 that the Forest Service often uses the material, called aluminized structure wrap, when buildings are threatened by fire. This is the third time since 2008 that officials have used the wrap to protect the building.

The wrap protects buildings from heat and burning embers. It is similar to the material used in the fire shields that firefighters carry with them, and it reflects up to 95 percent of radiant heat.

As of Tuesday, there were more than 400 firefighters battling the Cougar Creek Fire, which was more than 22,000 acres in size and 20 percent contained.

Fire officials believe the fire was started by lightning on Aug. 10.

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