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Title: A conceptual framework for coupling the biophysical and social dimensions of wildfire to improve fireshed planning and risk mitigation

Author: Kline, Jeff; Ager, Alan A.; Fischer, Paige;

Date: 2015

Source: Proceedings of the 13th International Wildland Fire Safety Summit & 4th Human Dimensions of Wildland Fire Conference

Publication Series: Full Proceedings

Description: The need for improved methods for managing wildfire risk is becoming apparent as uncharacteristically large wildfires in the western US and elsewhere exceed government capacities for their control and suppression. We propose a coupled biophysical-social framework to managing wildfire risk that relies on wildfire simulation to identify spatial patterns of wildfire risk and transmission within “firesheds” surrounding communities, and social science to understand wildfire risk perceptions and the degree of collaboration and mitigation behavior among landowners, land management agencies and local officials. Such an approach potentially would provide an improved method for defining the spatial extent of wildfire risk to communities compared to current planning processes, and creates an explicit role for social science to improve understanding of community-wide risk perceptions and predict landowners’ capacities and willingness to mitigate risk by treating hazardous fuels and conducting Firewise activities. Moreover, this biophysical-social approach would enable identifying potential comparative advantages in the location of risk mitigation effort, whether on public or private lands, according to both the degree to which specific locations contribute to the transmission of wildfire risk and how likely they are to contribute to the mitigation of risk.

Keywords: wildfire risk transmission, firesheds, wildland-urban interface.

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Kline, Jeffrey D.; Ager, Alan A.; Fischer, A. Paige. 2015. A conceptual framework for coupling the biophysical and social dimensions of wildfire to improve fireshed planning and risk mitigation. In: Managing Fire, understanding ourselves: Human dimensions in safety and wildland fire: Proceedings of the 13th International Wildland Fire Safety Summit & 4th Human Dimensions of Wildland Fire Conference. Missoula, Montana, USA: International Association of Wildland Fire: 215-223.

 


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