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Managing the Wildland–Urban Interface in the Northeast: Perceptions of Fire Risk and Hazard Reduction Strategies

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Abstract:

Much of the recent work in reducing wildland fire danger has occurred in the western and southeastern United States. However, high-risk areas do exist at the wildland–urban interface areas in the Northeast and very little work has been done to understand the fire management issues in this region. Therefore, this study used a survey of residents and landowners within the Plymouth Pine Barrens of southeastern Massachusetts to assess community members' perceptions of wildland fire risk and hazard reduction strategies. The research results indicate that residents have a low perception of wildland fire risk but support the use of fire hazard reduction strategies, including prescribed fire, mechanical removal of trees and brush, and construction of firebreaks. Previous experience with wildland fire was a major factor influencing respondents' perception of fire risk. Furthermore, participants' knowledge about specific fuel treatments positively influenced their support for those treatments. Overall, respondents believe that actions should be taken to reduce fire hazard within the study area and would like to be involved in the development of fire hazard reduction plans.

Keywords: fire hazard reduction strategies; homeowner perceptions—wildland fire risk; wildland–urban interface—Northeast United States

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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