Title: Perceptions of Wildfire Threat and Mitigation Measures by Residents of Fire-Prone Communities in the Northeast: Survey Results and Wildland Fire Management Implications
Author: Ryan, Robert L.; Wamsley, Mark B.;
Source: In: McCaffrey, S.M., tech. ed. The public and wildland fire management: social science findings for managers. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-1. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 11-17.
Publication Series: Other
Description: We surveyed residents of fire-prone areas of the Central Pine Barrens of Long Island, New York, and the Plymouth Pine Barrens in Massachusetts to learn how they perceived wildland fire risk and management techniques for reducing fire hazard. We found that residents considered the fire threat to their own property to be relatively low in spite of first-hand experience with wildfires; support for fuel breaks and mechanical treatments was higher than support for prescribed fire; support for mitigation treatments increased with increased knowledge about those treatments; and residents showed a strong desire to be involved in forest planning to manage wildfire danger. Key points from the study for managing wildland-urban interface areas include the following: (1) Public education and outreach efforts about fuel-hazard reduction planning need to be increased well in advance of changing forest management. (2) Wildland-urban interface communities differ from each other?implementation strategies should be tailored to the particular area. (3) Voluntary defensible space programs will be easier to implement than mandatory ones. (4) The public needs to be involved early in fuel-hazard planning.
Keywords: communication, fuels treatments, defensible space, wildfire management, social acceptance, education, wildland urban interface
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Ryan, Robert L.; Wamsley, Mark B. 2006. Perceptions of Wildfire Threat and Mitigation Measures by Residents of Fire-Prone Communities in the Northeast: Survey Results and Wildland Fire Management Implications. In: McCaffrey, S.M., tech. ed. The public and wildland fire management: social science findings for managers. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-1. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 11-17.
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