Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (610 KB)

Title: The effects of wildfire prevention activities

Author: Thomas, Douglas; Butry, David; Prestemon, Jeffrey;

Date: 2013

Source: In: Shupe, Todd F., Bowen, Mary S.; eds. Proceedings of the Natural Resources Symposium. LSU AgCenter. Baton Rouge, LA. 101-115.

Publication Series: Paper (invited, offered, keynote)

Description: Eighty percent of wildfires are human caused. Unintentional human-caused fires can be caused by carelessness, failure of equipment, or a number of other factors. A significant proportion of the literature on accidents, in general, focuses on occupational accidents. Approximately 80 % to 90 % of these accidents are thought to be due to human error (Heinrich et al 1980, Hale and Glendon 1987, Salminen and Tallberg 1996); thus, the vast majority involves human behavior and not unforeseen acts of nature. Research on occupational accidents has concluded that the best safety and health programs have an established safety culture (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), which includes “shared perceptions of the importance of safety and… confidence in the efficacy of preventive measures” (Health and Safety Commission 1993). Research has further found a significant correlation between reduced accidents and positive safety culture/safety climate in the workplace (Hofmann and Stetzer 1996, Oliver et al 2002, Gillen et al 2002, Hemingway and Smith 1999, Clarke 2006, Bjerkan 2010, Tomas 1999, Varonen 2000, Lucas 1992). A positive safety culture/climate might be described as an environment where people conform to norms and rules regarding safety. It is plausible, therefore, that communities that recognize the importance of safety and that take preventive measures are also likely to have a lower rate of accidents. In 2009, there were an estimated 6.8 million injuries resulting in 2923 deaths that occurred at personal residences (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission 2009). It is likely that these accidents have similar causes to occupational accidents (i.e., human behavior); thus, the effect of careless behavior at home is significant. Many of these injuries may have been prevented by taking safety measures. In regards to accidental fires, it is estimated that 55 % of wildfires between 2002 and 2007 were human caused unintentional fires and, although these accidents are not always related to occupational accidents, they are likely related to careless behavior influenced by a lack of shared perceptions on the importance of safety and prevention.

Keywords: fire prevention, human-caused fires, intentional fire, wildfire, unintentional fire, wildland

Publication Notes:

  • 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.
  • 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.)

XML: View XML

Citation:


Thomas, Douglas;Butry, David; Prestemon, Jeffrey 2013. The effects of wildfire prevention activities. In: Shupe, Todd F., Bowen, Mary S.; eds. Proceedings of the Natural Resources Symposium. LSU AgCenter. Baton Rouge, LA. 101-115.

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.