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    Author(s): Ronald Schumann; Miranda Mockrin; Alexandra Syphard; Joshua Whittaker; Owen Price; Cassandra Johnson; Christopher Emrich; Van Bustic
    Date: 2019
    Source: International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Southern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (971.0 KB)

    Description

    Recent decades have witnessed an escalation in the social, economic, and ecological impacts of wildfires
    worldwide. Wildfire losses stem from the complex interplay of social and ecological forces at multiple scales,
    including global climate change, regional wildfire regimes altered by human activities, and locally managed
    wildland-urban interface (WUI) zones where homes increasingly encroach upon wildland vegetation. The
    coupled nature of the human-ecological system is precisely what makes reducing wildfire risks challenging. As
    losses from wildfire have accelerated, an emerging research and management objective has been to create fireadapted
    communities where ecologically functional levels of wildfire are preserved but risks to human lives and
    property are minimized. Realizing such a vision will require widespread and decentralized action, but questions
    remain as to when and how such a transformation could take place. We suggest that the period following a
    destructive wildfire may provide a “hot moment” for community adaptation.
    Drawing from literature on natural hazard vulnerability, disaster recovery, and wildfire ecology, this paper
    proposes a linked social-ecological model of community recovery and adaptation after disaster. The model
    contends that changes during post-wildfire recovery shape a community’s vulnerability to the next wildfire
    event. While other studies have highlighted linked social-ecological dynamics that influence pre-fire vulnerability,
    few studies have explored social-ecological feedbacks in post-fire recovery. This model contributes to
    interdisciplinary social science research on wildfires and to scholarship on community recovery by integrating
    hazard vulnerability reduction with recovery in a cyclical framework. Furthermore, it is adaptable to a variety of
    hazards beyond wildfire. The model provides a basis for future empirical work examining the nature and
    effectiveness of recovery efforts aimed at long-term vulnerability reduction.

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    Citation

    Schumann, R.L., Mockrin, M., Syphard, A., Whittaker, J., Price, O., Johnson Gaither, C., Emrich, C.T. and Brennan-Kane, T. 2019. Wildfire Recovery as a “Hot Moment” for Creating Fire-Adapted Communities. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2019.101354.

    Keywords

    Wildfire adaptation, Community recovery, Vulnerability reduction, Coupled social-ecological models

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