University of California, Berkeley College of Natural Resources

Project Description

Community Engagement in Wildland Fire Management and Planning

Project Abstract

Record amounts of money are being spent each year to suppress wildland fires in the United States. During the 2008 fire season, the third most expensive in history, the U.S. Forest Service�s fire expenditures alone topped 1.9 billion dollars. Though the amount spent on wildland fires continues to climb, there has been no measurable impact on the amount of land burned and houses destroyed by wildfires.

Involving individuals who live and work in the flammable and fast-expanding wildland urban interface may be one way to reduce fire costs and losses. Engaging the community may result in collaborative projects to reduce risk in which both individuals and agencies contribute time and resources and increased awareness which may lead to more firesafe behaviors to reduce ignitions. One of the first efforts to engage communities in fire planning in the United States grew out of California�s 1996 fire plan. This early effort spread throughout the state and has continued to this day.

As the fire community increasingly supports the idea that community involvement may be an effective means of reducing costs and losses to wildfire, understanding the most effective ways to engage individuals in long-term collaborative processes is increasingly important. The goal of this research is to determine which tools and techniques have been effective ways to involve people in fire planning, and which efforts need further refinement. The focus of this research is on the 27 Unit fire plans developed by CalFire, the state agency responsible for protecting much of California�s privately owned wildlands from fire, and on the Community Wildfire Protection Plans created in California as a result of the Healthy Forest Protection Act.

This survey will guide coders through the process of evaluating each of the plans.

Surveys released for this project:
CalFire Unit Fire Plans evaluation 11
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