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Title: Securing the human perimeter: beyond operational approaches to developing community capacity to live with fire. Two examples from Victoria, Australia

Author: Blair, Simone; Campbell, Matt; Lowe, Tom; Campbell, Claire.;

Date: 2011

Source: In: McCaffrey, Sarah M.; Fisher, Cherie LeBlanc, eds. 2011. Proceedings of the second conference on the human dimensions of wildland fire. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-84. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 36-43.

Publication Series: General Technical Report - Proceedings

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: This paper explores the parallels that frequently exist in fire management organizations between operational approaches to fire and engagement approaches in the community. We observe that community issues are often treated in the same way as a fire incident—"controlled" and "contained" through education and "direct attack" messaging. The aim of these approaches is to reduce uncertainty and ambiguity so that people ultimately will better understand fire risk and change their behavior. However, we argue that building community capacity to live in fire-prone landscapes should not be approached or judged in the same fashion as operational or communications activities that take place during actual emergencies. Indeed, taking a command-and-control mindset into non-hierarchical social groupings, e.g., communities when there is no emergency, can reinforce community distrust, antagonism, dependence, and complacency. We also describe two case studies that go beyond relating to communities via command and control and demonstrate effective strategies for dealing with fire-prone communities.

Publication Notes:

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Citation:


Blair, Simone; Campbell, Matt; Lowe, Tom; Campbell, Claire. 2011. Securing the human perimeter: beyond operational approaches to developing community capacity to live with fire Two examples from Victoria, Australia. In: McCaffrey, Sarah M.; Fisher, Cherie LeBlanc, eds. 2011. Proceedings of the second conference on the human dimensions of wildland fire. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-84. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 36-43.

 


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