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Coping with Interface Wildfire as a Human Event: Lessons from the Disaster/Hazards Literature

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The human community impacts of wildland fire is an understudied area. This article reviews the human disaster and hazards literature in an attempt to discover lessons applicable to understanding the social impacts of fire in the residential/wildland interface. It is argued that those literatures are potentially very useful in developing an understanding of wildland fire as a human event. A number of lessons are derived including why people tend to be unduly optimistic in the face of environmental hazards such as fire and why the characteristics of the affected community are at least as important as those of the fire in understanding social impacts.

Keywords: community impacts of fire; disaster studies; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources; wildfire

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Associate Professor Akita International University Yumamachi, Akita Japan 2: Professor Department of Natural Resource Sciences Washington State University Pullman, Email: 3: Research Associate Department of Natural Resource Sciences Washington State University Pullman

Publication date: September 1, 2004

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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