Steve Quarles

Steve Quarles is a wood performance and durability Cooperative Extension advisor and Director of CFRO's Building in Fire-Prone Areas Program. Areas of expertise include performance and durability of wood and wood-based products subjected to wildfire and moisture exposures and physical properties of wood.

Protecting homes from wildfire is best achieved by combining vegetation management techniques around the house with our understanding of fire-resistant construction materials and design. Quarles says, "It is important to remember that the construction materials used in homes at as a system, and we should understand performance implications associated with changes in materials and design. For example, eliminating soffit vents may be good for preventing entry of fire and embers into the attic, but may result in moisture related problems long before a wildfire occurs."

Quarles is responsible for the developing and implementing the outreach and applied research program on durability issues related to the in-service performance of wood and wood-based products and wood-framed structures.

Related websites:

Other materials that Quarles has developed can be viewed and printed below:

Vulnerable Parts of Your Home -- an overview presentation on features that make homes vulnerable to fire (7.9 mb)

More information on specific home features include:

Fire performance testing results for specific home features include:

Other publications:

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Contact information:


University of California, Berkeley
Richmond Field Station,
Bldg. 478
1301 South 46th Street
Richmond, CA 94804

Phone: (510) 665-3580
Email: steve.quarles@berkeley.edu