Skip to Main Content
Little Bear Fire Summary ReportAuthor(s): Sarah McCaffrey; Melanie Stidham; Hannah Brenkert-Smith
Source: Res. Note NRS-RN-178. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 18 p
Publication Series: Research Note (RN)
Station: Northern Research Station
Download Publication (253.58 KB)
DescriptionIn June 2012, immediately after the Little Bear Fire burned outside Ruidoso, New Mexico, a team of researchers interviewed fire managers, local personnel, and residents to understand perceptions of the event itself, communication, evacuation, and pre-fire preparedness. The intensity of fire behavior and resulting loss of 242 homes made this a complex fire with a complex social response. While most of the people we spoke with thought the fire was managed well despite difficult biophysical circumstances, some held the perspective that the fire could have been extinguished sooner. One of the most agreed-upon successful aspects of the fire was that everyone was evacuated with no injuries and no lives lost, despite the rapid fire spread in an area with numerous houses and limited access. Notifying individuals of house loss and getting people back into their neighborhoods in a timely manner were the two issues most frequently identified as areas needing improvement. Interagency and intra-agency communication were universally highly regarded by federal fire personnel and local emergency responders. These two groups also perceived communication with the public to have been successful. However, members of the public we spoke with thought there were some significant communication issues and wanted certain information sooner and more frequently.
- 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, firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
CitationMcCaffrey, Sarah; Stidham, Melanie; Brenkert-Smith, Hannah. 2013. Little Bear Fire Summary Report. Res. Note NRS-RN-178. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 18 p.
Keywordswildfire, emergency response, evacuation, wildland-urban interface, social dynamics, fire management, communication
- Pine Ridge Fire summary report
- Integrative complexity of wildfire management: development of a scale
- Fire as a galvanizing and fragmenting influence on communities: the case of the Rodeo-Chediski fire
XML: View XML