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Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): R. Dwayne Elmore; Terrence G. Bidwell; John R. Weir
Editor(s): Kevin M. Robertson; Krista E. M. Galley; Ronald E. Masters
Publication Date: 2009

The failure to implement historic fire regimes on Oklahoma landscapes is threatening ecological integrity, human health, and public safety. To understand public attitudes and perceptions toward fire and the associated encroachment of eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana), we disigned two questionnaires targeting general Oklahoma residents and agricultural producers. The response rate for the general survey was 25%, while the response rate for the agricultural producer survey was 36%. We found high support for prescribed fire, with 72% of agricultural producer respondents and 74% of general resident respondents believing it was necessary to manage the land. Respondents also viewed the increase of eastern redcedar as a threat to urban areas due to volatile fuels. Despite this, 18% of urban residents indicated they had eastern redcedar within 50 feet (15 m) of their homes. When asked what specific concerns respondents had regarding prescribed fire, both groups indicated damage to private property, risk to human safety, and soil erosion as most important. Smoke, scenic quality, and timber production were the lowest concerns for both groups. Only 28% of the agricultural respondents were aware of the Oklahoma Prescribed Fire Associations and a mere 5% of them were members. These results indicate high support of prescribed fire in Oklahoma. Concerns regarding prescribed fire indicate that more effort is needed to address liability issues within the state. As the Oklahoma Prescribed Fire Associations have been identified by the Oklahoma Prescribed Fire Council as a top priority, significant effort should be made to address the low knowledge regarding the associations' existence. © 2010, Tall Timbers Research, Inc.

Citation: Elmore, R. D., T. G. Bidwell, and J. R. Weir. 2009. Perceptions of Oklahoma residents to prescribed fire, in Robertson, K. M., Galley, K. E. M., and Masters, R. E., Proceedings of the 24th Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference: the future of prescribed fire: public awareness, health, and safety. Tallahassee, FL. Tall Timbers Research, Inc.,Tallahassee, FL. 24, p. 55-66,Proceedings of the Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference.

Cataloging Information

  • aesthetics
  • agriculture
  • attitudes
  • eastern redcedar
  • eastern redcedar
  • education
  • fire damage (property)
  • fire management
  • forage
  • herbicides
  • Juniperus virginiana
  • Juniperus virginiana
  • mowing
  • Oklahoma
  • Oklahoma
  • perceptions
  • public information
  • respondent
  • site treatments
  • soil erosion
  • survey
  • wildlife
Tall Timbers Record Number: 28509Location Status: In-fileCall Number: Tall Timbers shelfAbstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission
Record Last Modified:
Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 51597

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by Tall Timbers and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of Tall Timbers.