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Wildland Fire Science for Management: Federal Fire Manager Information Needs, Sources, and Uses

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A Web-based survey of wildland fire managers in federal agencies in the western United States explored fire science information needs and sources, why particular sources are used, and barriers to obtaining and using information. The fire managers we surveyed rely heavily on internal agency information sources (colleagues, technical experts, and resource advisors) and are more likely to face barriers in their ability to access and use relevant information (lack of time, funding, and personnel) than problems with the quality or availability of data. Information accessibility and applicability are important to managers when deciding which information sources to use. Managers frequently access research provided by US Forest Service Research and Development specialists and university scientists through various publications, the Internet, and direct communication with scientists. Understanding the types of information fire managers need, the sources they access for information, and the barriers they face in obtaining and using information may lead to improved fire science and its dissemination, as well as more effective and efficient fire management.

Keywords: decisionmaking; social science; wildfire management

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2011

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 Western Journal of Applied Forestry covers the western United States, including Alaska, and western Canada; WJAF will also consider manuscripts reporting research in northern Mexico that has potential application in the southwestern United States.
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