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Project ID: 07-1-6-12

Year: 2007

Date Started: 06/04/2007

Date Completed: 03/28/2013

Title: Social Science at the Wildland Urban Interface: Creating Fire-Safe Communities

Project Proposal Abstract: Considerable social science research has been conducted at the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) since inception of the Joint Fire Science Program and National Fire Plan. Results have provided useful insight into factors including public acceptance of fuel treatments, communication strategies and planning processes to develop public support, community fire planning, and defensible space programs. In most cases this research has been conducted by individual scientists or small teams working on separate tracks resulting in a limited ability to compare concepts and draw conclusions across study areas. This has also meant mixed results in communication of findings directly to the most significant end users such as state and local officials, federal resource professionals, community groups, and homeowners. The proposed project addresses AFP 2007-1-6 by summarizing and prioritizing current knowledge and developing effective tech transfer methods to communicate findings that can be understood and implemented by local agencies and citizen groups. First, a capstone workshop of investigators will be held to examine the collective social science research conducted at the WUI. The workshop will result in a compendium of research results that highlights important findings, explores lessons learned across study areas, and identifies locations where real success has been achieved in building fire-safe communities. Second, we will draw on this research and feature successful communities in a digital video program. The DVD will demonstrate how agency personnel and community leaders have created fire-safe programs worth modeling elsewhere. An accompanying field guide will provide a stepwise approach to implementation. The PI's will conduct interactive workshops in participating regions to help organize local strategies.

Principal Investigator: Bruce A. Shindler

Agency/Organization: Oregon State University

Branch or Dept: Department of Forest Ecosystems & Society

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Eric L. Toman

Ohio State University

School of Environment & Natural Resources-Columbus

Federal Cooperator

Sarah M. McCaffrey

Forest Service

NRS-Northern Research Station

Federal Fiscal Representative

Paul L. Reitzel

Forest Service

NRS-Northern Research Station

Project Locations





Great Basin

Great Plains

Lake States

Oak Woodlands

Northern Rockies




Southern Rockies








Interior West


Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
view or print   1622 Government Publication Homeowner Implementation of Fuel Treatments: A Longitudinal Analysis of Adoption, Maintenance, and Support for Agency Action on Public Lands
view or print   3095 Journal Article International Journal of Wildland Fire
view or print   382 Invited Paper/Presentation Reducing Fuels in the Wildland Urban Interface: Community Perceptions of Agency Fuels Treatments
    383 Invited Paper/Presentation This presentation was made to researchers and managers as part of a seminar series at Ohio State University’s Ohio Agriculture Research and Development Center
    537 Invited Paper/Presentation Presentation of study results focusing on the role of communication in wildfire evacuations
    539 Invited Paper/Presentation presentation of essential social science research findings for fire prevention coordinators.
    540 Invited Paper/Presentation Presentation of a research summary on social acceptability of fire management.
    1093 Invited Paper/Presentation presentation on homeowners’ motivations for creating defensible space and the role of local mitigation programs.
    1094 Field Demonstration/Tour a demonstration and field tour of interagency fire professionals to examine the role of citizen-agency collaboratives in planning fire management strategies.
    1193 Invited Paper/Presentation presentation on an analysis of factors influencing public acceptance of wildland fire management.
    6474 Invited Paper/Presentation Presentation on the role of communication during wildfire evacuations taken from interviews with affected homeowners in three states.
    6475 Invited Paper/Presentation Presentation on public responses to wildland fire and fuel management over time.
    6476 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Summary of public views of fire management from the initial stages of prescribed fire to completion of suppression activities.
    6477 Invited Paper/Presentation presentation on findings from social science studies related to fire management.
    6519 Invited Paper/Presentation presentation of findings from social science research related to fire management.
view or print   6738 Final Report Summary Research Perspectives on the Public and Fire Management: A Synthesis of Current Socail Science on 8 Essential Questions.
view or print   5600 Final Report Summary Social Science at the Wildland Urban Interface: Creating Fire-Adapted Communities
view or print   5602 Final Report Summary Social Science at the Wildland-Urban Interface: a Compendium of Research Results to Create Fire Adapted Communities
  go to website 5850 Website A video program that showcases on-the-ground experiences of federal and state land managers, as well as community leaders, who are working together to overcome barriers, find agreement, and build partnerships. The program complements an associated field guide that provides more detail and a practical, stepwise approach managers and community members can use to adapt the most useful tools and strategies to the needs of their own communities.
    7055 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Conducted workshop Wildland Fire Summit: A Decade of Social Science Research in Portland, OR, August/2008. Eighteen of the top research social scientists working on wildland fire issues, many for the JFSP, convened to consider and examine our current knowledge about creating fire-safe communities. A draft synthesis of outcomes has been written with a formal project report forthcoming.
    7237 Invited Paper/Presentation Presentation of study results on citizen acceptance of post-fire management strategies.

Supporting Documents

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