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Title: The role of community policies in defensible space compliance

Author: Winter, Greg; McCaffrey, Sarah; Vogt, Christine A.;

Date: 2009

Source: Forest Policy and Economics. 11: 570-578.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Recently enacted federal and state policies provide incentives, including financial assistance, for local jurisdictions to manage risks associated with wildland fire. This has led to an array of local-level policies designed to encourage homeowners to create fire-safe landscapes. This qualitative study collected data from focus group interviews with homeowners in three diverse communities and used the theory of reasoned action to interpret dimensions of local-level wildland fire policies that are associated with homeowner acceptance of or compliance with defensible space guidelines or regulations. Common factors emerged in two policy evaluation categories: acceptance and compliance. WUI homeowners are more accepting of policies that are seen as fair and part of a more comprehensive risk reduction strategy. Topics that shaped acceptance of voluntary versus mandatory approaches included perceived risk severity, views about the proper roles of government, and beliefs about alternatives to regulatory approaches (e.g. private insurance, education, ignition source reduction).

Keywords: wildfire homeowner practices, defensible space, vegetation management, mandatory policy, voluntary incentives

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Winter, Greg; McCaffrey, Sarah; Vogt, Christine A. 2009. The role of community policies in defensible space compliance. Forest Policy and Economics. 11: 570-578.


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