Community Wildfire Resilience

Posted by Renee Magyar on September 24, 2014

Our partners at Ecosystem Workforce Program released several new publications from their Community Wildfire Resilience project.

Photo by Stacy Davis

Large and destructive wildfires are increasingly prevalent in the American West, and impacts on the communities they affect can be varied and substantial. Recent federal policies have placed an emphasis on community wildfire planning and preparedness to increase local resilience to wildfire threats and impacts. This project explored how federal policies interact with social conditions at the community level to reduce wildfire impacts. The goals of this project were to: (1) explain interactions among socioeconomic vulnerability, community adaptive capacity, and wildfire planning and mitigation; and (2) identify how these dimensions influence resilience in rural, fire-prone communities.

Through four case studies, a content analysis of community wildfire protection plans, and surveys of county planners and key informants in communities recently affected by large wildfires, they investigated how pre-fire conditions affect community resilience following large wildfires.

Take a look at some of the products from this research. These include:

  • A working paper on how local context influences community approaches to resilience-building
  • Fact sheets on lessons learned from 3 of our case studies
  • Policy briefing papers that synthesize main findings for policymaker audiences

Ecosystem Workforce Program at the University of Oregon links ecological health, economic prosperity, and democratic governance through applied research and policy education.