As part of a Joint Fire Science Program project, a team of social scientists reviewed existing fire social science literature to develop a targeted synthesis of scientific knowledge on the following questions: 1. What is the public's understanding of fire's role in the ecosystem? 2. Who are trusted sources of information about fire? 3. What are the public's views of fuels reduction methods, and how do those views vary depending on citizens' location in the wildland-urban interface or elsewhere? 4. What is the public's understanding of smoke effects on human health, and what shapes the public's tolerance for smoke? 5. What are homeowners' views of their responsibilities for home and property protection and mitigation, e.g., defensible space measures? 6. What role does human health and safety play in the public's perceptions of fire and fire management? 7. What are the public's views on the role and importance of costs in wildfire incident response decisions? 8. To the extent that information is available, how do findings differ among ethnic and cultural groups, and across regions of the country?
McCaffrey, Sarah M.; Olsen, Christine S. 2012. Research perspectives on the public and fire management: a synthesis of current social science on eight essential questions. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-104. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 40 p.