Wildfire researchers have typically focused on the formal social relationships and organizational structures of community and community leadership in analyzing fire preparedness and planning. This may be reasonable given the policy positions of natural resource agencies charged with management of wildfires on large public lands, particularly in the American West. When fires are allowed to burn on public lands, there are inherent risks to communities located in the path of the burn. Formal relationships between federal and state agencies and local communities (particularly with local government leaders and other people in positions of authority and power), therefore, are critical in maintaining clear communications, in reducing potential dangers, and in providing appropriate responses when wildfire dangers occur. The scholarly research in this area has a clearly applied focus, and much of it also has a “top-down” orientation that reflects the resource agency funding that underwrites this work. The relevance is clear: resource managers are charged to identify persons and groups “with a stake” in the outcome of resource management policies, and to evaluate the outcomes of agency-designed educational and outreach programs for affected publics.
Stokowski, P. (2007), "Chapter 10 Human Communities and Wildfires: A Review of Research Literature and Issues", Troy, A. and Kennedy, R. (Ed.) Living on the Edge (Advances in the Economics of Environmental Resources, Vol. 6), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 165-179. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1569-3740(06)06010-XDownload as .RIS
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