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): Melanie Stidham; Eric Toman; Sarah M. McCaffrey; Bruce Schinder
    Date: 2011
    Source: In: McCaffrey, Sarah M.; Fisher, Cherie LeBlanc, eds. 2011. Proceedings of the second conference on the human dimensions of wildland fire. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-84. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 96-103.
    Publication Series: General Technical Report - Proceedings
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (406.81 KB)

    Description

    Wildfire evacuations are inherently stressful and homeowners have reported in previous studies that uncertainty over what is happening is perhaps one of the most stressful aspects. Although many difficult elements of evacuation cannot be mitigated and lives will certainly be disrupted, fire-management agencies can significantly reduce residents' uncertainty with frequent, open, and detailed communication. We illustrate this point with two case studies. In one community, there was little communication between fire-management professionals and residents before, during, and after a wildfire evacuation while in the other there was regular communication throughout the event. Where agency communication was lacking, the media filled the information gap with conflicting and often inaccurate reports. Two years after the fire, residents from this community recalled the event in vivid detail and many still expressed fear of wildfire and lack of trust in fire-management agencies. Conversely, residents of the community that received abundant, timely information had largely positive comments about how the fire was managed and expressed trust and confidence in the fire-managing agency.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
    • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
    • During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, shobrla@fs.fed.us if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • 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.

    Citation

    Stidham, Melanie; Toman, Eric; McCaffrey, Sarah; Schinder, Bruce. 2011. Improving an inherently stressful situation: the role of communication during wildfire evacuations. In: McCaffrey, Sarah M.; Fisher, Cherie LeBlanc, eds. 2011. Proceedings of the second conference on the human dimensions of wildland fire. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-84. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 96-103.

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/38522