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Effective Community Responses to Wildfire Threats: Lessons From New Mexico

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National policies to address the wildfire threat in the United States place emphasis on community responsiveness, but great uncertainty surrounds the scope and success of community response to wildfire threats and why some communities foster effective responses while others fail to do so. Two case studies of community responses to wildfire threats in New Mexico are explored. A decision process framework illustrates how an effective response can be defined. Findings indicate that an effective community response to wildfire means that a community works through all stages of the decision process with appropriate social and structural responses to its specific threat.

Keywords: New Mexico; Ruidoso; Santa Fe watershed; community response; decision process; social response; structural response; wildfire threat

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Forestry, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2004

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