Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Cassandra Johnson Gaither; N.C. Poudyal; S. GoodrickJ.M. Bowker; Sparkle L. Malone; J. Gan
    Date: 2011
    Source: Forest Policy and Economics
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.0 MB)


    The southeastern U.S. is one of the more wildland fire prone areas of the country and also contains some of the poorest or most socially vulnerable rural communities. Our project addresses wildland fire risk in this part of the U.S and its intersection with social vulnerability. We examine spatial association between high wildland fire prone areas which also rank high in social vulnerability (“hot spots”) for Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina. We also look at the proximity of hot spots to wildland fire mitigation programs. We hypothesize that hot spots are less likely than high wildland fire risk/low social vulnerability communities to engage with mitigation programs (e.g., Community Wildfire Protection Plans or Firewise Communities). To assess our hypothesis, we examined mean distances between: 1) hot spots and mitigation programs and 2) high wildland fire risk/low social vulnerability communities and mitigation programs. Overall, results show longer mean distances from hot spots to mitigation programs, compared to distances for high wildland fire risk/low social vulnerability communities. This finding provides support for our hypothesis and suggests that poorer communities in the southeast with high wildland fire risk may be at a greater disadvantage than more affluent, high fire risk communities in these states.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Johnson Gaither, Cassandra; Poudyal, N.C.; Goodrick, S.; Bowker, J.M.; Malone, S.; Gan, J. 2011. Wildland fire risk and social vulnerability in the Southeastern United States: An exploratory spatial data analysis approach. Forest Policy and Economics. 13:24–36.


    Google Scholar


    Social vulnerability, Wildland fire, Environmental risk, Wildland fire mitigation

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page