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Building trust, establishing credibility, and communicating fire issues with the public

Author(s): Josh McDaniel
Year Published: 2014
Description:

With more people than ever living in the vicinity of the wildland-urban interface, communicating wildland fire management activities and building trust with the public is paramount for safety. Although the time and resources it takes to build and maintain the public's trust may seem daunting, it may be one of the most important factors determining the long-term viability of a fire management program. Trust is built over time through personal relationships with citizens and communities and also by demonstrating competence and establishing credibility. When trust and confidence have been established, managers can enjoy strong support of fire and fuels management programs, even in some of the most challenging communities. Several studies funded by the Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP) have shed light on what the public knows and thinks about fire and the agencies that manage it, as well as the public's views on their own fire risk, their responsibilities in reducing it, and their levels of support for fuels reduction programs on public lands. In addition, land managers know more about how to effectively communicate with the public about fire, whether the goal is to build support for fuels treatments and fire management or to motivate property owners to mitigate their fire risk.

Citation: McDaniel, Josh. 2014. Building trust, establishing credibility, and communicating fire issues with the public. Joint Fire Science Program; Fire Science Digest. January 2014(17): 1-12.
Topic(s): Fire Communication & Education, Public Perspectives of Fire Management, Wildland Urban Interface
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Research Brief or Fact Sheet
NRFSN number: 12385
FRAMES RCS number: 16622
Record updated: Sep 8, 2020