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WiRē Team Launches New Videos That Pave a New Path to Fire Adaptation

Posted date: March 07, 2018

The Wildfire Research (WiRē) Team has created a series of three short illustrative videos that outline the WiRē Team’s innovative approach to helping communities adapt to wildfire. 

Wildfire is a natural phenomenon, yet learning to live with wildfire is a social issue – so we need a social solution.  The Wildfire Research (WiRē) Team is an interdisciplinary researcher-practitioner collaboration and for more than a decade, the WiRē Team has been refining a process to understand how each community’s path to fire adaptation is unique. 

The first of the three videos in the series - “An Innovative Approach to Understanding Communities” – introduces the WiRē Team and explains how they are helping communities adapt to wildfire.

The second video - “Applying the WiRē Approach” - delves into the WiRē Team process of pairing social data from residents living in the wildland urban interface with parcel-level wildfire risk data. Using this community-specific data, the WiRē Team works with local wildfire professionals to understand how programs can be tailored to effectively prompt local residents to take action to reduce wildfire risk. 

The final video in the three-part series - “Becoming More Fire Adapted through Better Understanding of the Community” - describes WiRē’s unique approach working with communities-at-risk from wildfire in order to tailor efforts to their specific needs; resulting in increased fire adaptation. 

“Working closely with wildfire mitigation professionals as part of the WiRē team has fundamentally changed how I understand the wildfire problem and frame research questions. The WiRē team’s researcher-practitioner model has successfully infused innovative social science into local wildfire mitigation and education programs,” said Patty Champ, an economist with the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station.

The videos were created using a unique hand-drawn whiteboard storytelling technique and were developed with the support of the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station and National Fire Plan Funds. The videos are posted on the WiRē website (

Snapshot from one of the new Wildfire Research Team's illustrated videos.
Snapshot from one of the new Wildfire Research Team's illustrated videos.

If you have an interest in working with the WiRē Team, supporting their efforts, or learning more, please visit

The Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) is one of seven units within the U.S. Forest Service Research and Development. RMRS maintains 14 field laboratories throughout a 12-state territory encompassing parts of the Great Basin, Southwest, Rocky Mountains, and the Great Plains. RMRS also administers and conducts research on 14 experimental forests, ranges and watersheds and maintains long-term research databases for these areas. While anchored in the geography of the West our research is global in scale. To find out more about the RMRS go to You can also follow us on Twitter at




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Jennifer Hayes
Public Affairs Specialist