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Data-Driven Wildland Fire Research

Event Details:

Wednesday, March 2, 2022
12:15pm - 1:15pm PST



“Firewise Communities in California”
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Rebecca Miller
University of Southern California
Andy Kampfschultz
University of Southern California

The Firewise USA program is a voluntary grassroots program administered by the National Fire Protection Association and is designed to help neighbors reduce their local wildfire risks. Firewise participants choose their own wildfire mitigation activities depending on local hazards and concerns. Some of the most popular activities include planning wildfire education workshops, organizing chipper days to remove overgrown yard vegetation, establishing communication networks to share news of nearby wildfires, and applying for wildfire mitigation grants. While prior studies have demonstrated the benefits of participation and recognition in Firewise in improving neighborhood fire protection, research remains limited on what factors may influence why communities participate. Using data collected by the National Fire Protection Association between 2008 and 2020, we examine Firewise trends and the influence of underlying fire hazard, prior fire history, and proximity to other Firewise sites in Firewise participation. In addition, we identify regional differences among Firewise sites in Northeast, Northwest, and Southern California. These findings may offer important insights into why communities pursue Firewise recognition and self-organize to mitigate their neighborhood fire risk.

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