Social science research related to wildfire management: an overview of recent findings and future research needs
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Sarah M. McCaffrey; Eric L. Toman; Melanie Stidham; Bruce A. Shindler
Publication Year: 2013

Cataloging Information

  • citizen-agency interactions
  • communication and outreach
  • community preparedness
  • education
  • fire management
  • fuel management
  • fuels management
  • homeowner mitigation
  • National Fire Plan
  • public acceptance
  • public information
  • research
  • risk perception
  • thinning
  • trust
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: September 2, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 51877
Tall Timbers Record Number: 28864
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Journals - I
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy 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 the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


As with other aspects of natural-resource management, the approach to managing wildland fires has evolved over time as scientific understanding has advanced and the broader context surrounding management decisions has changed. Prior to 2000 the primary focus of most fire research was on the physical and ecological aspects of fire; social science research was limited to a small number of studies. However, as more people moved into fire-prone areas interest grew in understanding relevant social dynamics. This growing interest was supported by increased funding for fire research overall with the creation of the Joint Fire Science Program in 1998 and the National Fire Plan in 2000. In subsequent years, a significant body of research has developed on the human dimensions of wildland fire covering diverse topics including: attitudes towards pre-fire mitigation, social acceptability of fire and fuels management, community preparedness, public response during fires, citizen-agency communications and post-fire recovery. This paper reports on two aspects of a Joint Fire Science Program project intended to take stock of the key social science lessons provided to date: a basic review of findings in the non-economic fire social science literature and identification of future research needs.

Online Link(s):
McCaffrey, Sarah M.; Toman, Eric L.; Stidham, Melanie; Shindler, Bruce. 2013. Social science research related to wildfire management: an overview of recent findings and future research needs. International Journal of Wildland Fire 22(1):15-24.

Related Records