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): Jeffrey Prestemon; Maria Chas-Amil; David T. Butry; Maria-Lusia Touza
    Date: 2019
    Source: In:Proceedings for the 6th International Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference, April 29-May 3, 2019, Albuquerque, NM. International Association of Wildland Fire, MissoIn:Proceedings ula, MT.
    Publication Series: Proceedings - Paper (PR-P)
    Station: Southern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (281.0 KB)

    Description

    Wildfires constitute a recurring natural risk, with greater consequences on the population of areas with human settlements in contact with the vegetation, the Wildland Urban-Interface (WUI). The number of people living in these areas has increased dramatically in recent years (e.g., Radeloff et al. 2018), raising wildfire risk and a growing concern, both for the environmental damages caused by fires, as well as for endangering properties and human lives. Scientific research indicates that the actions taken by the population for their protection reduces firefighting expenditures. It is essential, therefore, to have greater knowledge of the affected population and the factors that influence the potential impacts on it (Calkin et al. 2014). These aspects have been examined by many authors, in relation to forest fires under the term "vulnerability" (Paton and Tedim 2012). Previous studies on social vulnerability to forest fires indicate that the socially more vulnerable population has a lower capacity to apply mitigation measures against forest fires and recovery in the event of occurrence (Gaither et al. 2011; Paveglio et al. 2016; Wigtil et al. 2016). In this sense, knowledge is still lacking regarding how social vulnerability is affected by wildland fuels management decisions and building materials used in wildfire hazard areas. In addition, after a disaster, the resilience of societies depends not only on the income of individuals, but also on age and health status, which leads to the concept of environmental justice. The overall objective of this work is to spatially identify the vulnerability of the population to forest fires. As a case study, we select the autonomous region of Galicia because it registers the highest occurrence of fires in Spain (40% of the total) and where the consequences can be very important for the population. We use socioeconomic and demographic variables at the municipal level to construct a spatial social vulnerability index (Cutter et al. 2003), which can pinpoint the most vulnerable areas to wildfire impacts. The resulting map can be used to identify specific locations where it improvements in preparedness and suppression capacity may yield the largest gains in social resilience to natural risks.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to pubrequest@fs.fed.us 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.

    Citation

    Chas-Amil, Maria-Luisa; Prestemon, Jeffrey P.; Butry, David T.; Touza, Julia. 2019. Socioeconomic vulnerability to wildfires: a case study in Galicia, NW Spain. In:Proceedings for the 6th International Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference, April 29-May 3, 2019, Albuquerque, NM. International Association of Wildland Fire, MissoIn:Proceedings ula, MT. 6 pages.

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/59232