Home
A JFSP Fire Science Exchange Network
Bringing People Together & Sharing Knowledge in the Northern Rockies

 

Contact  |  FireScience.gov  JFSP program icon

Living with fire: how social scientists are helping wildland-urban interface communities reduce wildfire risk

Author(s): Brian Cooke
Year Published: 2016
Description: Reducing wildfire risk to lives and property is a critical issue for policy makers, land managers, and citizens who reside in high-risk fire areas of the United States - this is especially the case in the Rocky Mountain region and other western states. In order for a wildfire risk reduction effort to be effective in a U.S. wildland-urban interface (WUI) community, the risk reduction effort must include community support and engagement. However, WUI communities have a wide range of social, political and economic characteristics that make a "cookie-cutter" approach to wildfire management planning unrealistic and ultimately ineffective. WUI community differences include communication networks, community identities and attachments, degree of trust in government, and the actions already taken to mitigate risk. To provide guidance on collaboration in fire and fuel management as advocated by the Healthy Forest Restoration Act of 2003, scientists at the USDA Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station studied social factors and the diversity of U.S. WUI community types. Their ongoing research continues to be effective in developing tools and strategies that improve collaboration between agencies, organizations, communities, and citizens, and is enhancing WUI communities’ long-term social capacity to address wildfire risk.
Citation: Cooke, Brian. 2016. Living with fire: how social scientists are helping wildland-urban interface communities reduce wildfire risk. Science You Can Use Bulletin, Issue 19. Fort Collins, CO: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 9 p.
Topic(s): Wildland Urban Interface
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Research Brief or Fact Sheet
NRFSN number: 14451
FRAMES RCS number: 22417
Record updated: Jun 22, 2016