People,  Fire, And  Forests: Community  Perspectives
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People, Fire, And Forests: Community Perspectives






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People,  Fire, And  Forests: Community  Perspectives People, Fire, And Forests: Community Perspectives Presentation Transcript

  • People, Fire & Forests: Community Perspectives Matt Carroll Patricia Cohn Department of Natural Resource Sciences Washington State University
  • Premise (With apologies to Tip O’Neill): All fire is local!!!
  • Introduction Fire is a biophysical/ecological disturbance Fire is also a social disturbance Fire is a cause and effect of both – Ecological dynamics – Social dynamics
  • Human-Forest Fire Interaction Biophysical environment Socio-demographic characteristics/dynamics Socio-cultural characteristics/dynamics
  • Human-Forest Fire Interaction Temporal framework of community-fire dynamics: – Before – During – After
  • Communities Affected by Fire Before the fire event: preparedness and risk reduction During the fire event: disruption, uncertainty and coordination After the fire event: rehabilitation and recovery
  • Objective Summarize what is currently known about human community dynamics, decisions and dilemmas before, during and after major fire events
  • Jakes & Nelson: Critical Initiatives prior to a Fire Rich literature of case studies showing what individuals & communities are doing to address physical and social preparedness
  • Physical Preparedness Safety of physical facilities to minimize loss of life, injury and property damage – Vegetation management – Communications systems – Water access systems – Public education programs
  • Social Preparedness Outcome of the social processes and institutions essential for community action – Partnerships – Laws/ordinances – Planning institutions – Decision-making networks
  • Carroll & Cohn: Consequences of Actions During the Fire Suppression tactics and strategy Conflict may occur among firefighting entities Improve integration, collaboration, training, and coordination of federal and non-federal firefighting agencies
  • Fire Event Processes Evacuation Law enforcement Media coverage Communication Purchases and hiring Firefighting Assistance organizations
  • Impacts and Consequences What impacts do fire events have on the day to day lives of residents of affected communities? Impacts occur at different levels of social organization – Individual – Family – Neighborhood – Social group – Community
  • Summary Communities often find themselves ill-prepared for the multi-dimensional nature of the problems of large fires What happens during a fire has the potential to affect internal community dynamics and community/land management agency relations for years to come
  • Burchfield: Consequences of Actions After the Fire Agencies will be burdened by rehabilitation and recovery needs Post-fire ‘bounce’ for innovation, land use planning and institutional change Community-level recovery from wildfires is difficult to predict
  • Consequences to Human Communities Biophysical Social-demographic Social-cultural Paucity of research on the impacts of fire on human communities
  • Consequences Biophysical – Vast literature – Salvage logging is a controversial aspect in relation to human communities – Soil movement: landslides, mud/debris flows
  • Consequences Socio-demographic – Emotional & aesthetic impact – Real estate downturns short- lived – Economics- suppression costs continue to increase- do costs outweigh benefits?
  • Consequences Socio-cultural – Emotional, psychological impacts: mirrors findings from disaster literature – Integration and coordination among organizations important in the recovery process – Greatest opportunities for institutional change or land use planning are greatest afterwards
  • Post-fire Recovery Parallels other natural disasters Variability of communities makes generalization difficult Nested layers of complexity affect community responses to fire
  • Summary Chapters present a reasonably comprehensive overview about research on human communities and fire. Communities are the focus when talking about the human and social impacts of wildfire.