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    Author(s): Sarah McCaffrey; Eric Toman; Melanie Stidham; Bruce Shindler
    Date: 2015
    Source: In: Paton, D., ed. Wildfire hazards, risks, and disasters. Watham, MA: Elsevier: 15-34. Chapter 2.
    Publication Series: Book Chapter
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (155.55 KB)


    The rising number of acres burned annually and growing number of people living in or adjacent to fire-prone areas in the United States make wildfire management an increasingly complex and challenging problem. Given the prominence of social issues in shaping the current challenges and determining paths forward, it will be important to have an accurate understanding of social dynamics. After providing a brief contextual background of fire management in the United States, this chapter focuses on a review of the key findings from social science research related to how the public views fire management in the United States. Primary topics discussed are public acceptance of fuels treatments on public lands, homeowner mitigation activities, and social dynamics during and after a fire. The goal of the chapter is to (1) provide fire managers and other interested stakeholders with an accurate understanding of what shapes public response to fire management before, during, and after fires; (2) provide a context for future research; and (3) inform future efforts to foster fire-adapted communities where people are aware of the fire risk and have taken appropriate action to reduce that risk and increase resilience to wildfire.

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    McCaffrey, Sarah; Toman, Eric; Stidham, Melanie; Shindler, Bruce. 2015. Social science findings in the United States. In: Paton, D., ed. Wildfire hazards, risks, and disasters. Watham, MA: Elsevier: 15-34. Chapter 2.


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