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Hannah Brenkert-Smith, James R. Meldrum, Patricia A. Champ, Christopher M. Barth
Year Published:

Cataloging Information

Fire Communication & Education
Public Perspectives of Fire Management
Management Approaches
Adaptive Management

NRFSN number: 16190
Record updated:

Wildfire and the threat it poses to society represents an example of the complex, dynamic relationship between social and ecological systems. Increasingly, wildfire adaptation is posited as a pathway to shift the approach to fire from a suppression paradigm that seeks to control fire to a paradigm that focuses on “living with” and “adapting to” wildfire. In this study, we seek insights into what it means to adapt to wildfire from a range of stakeholders whose efforts contribute to the management of wildfire. Study participants provided insights into the meaning, relevance, and use of the concept of fire adaptation as it relates to their wildfire-related activities. A key finding of this investigation suggests that social scale is of key importance in the conceptualization and understanding of adaptation for participating stakeholders. Indeed, where you stand in terms of understandings of fire adaptation depends in large part on where you sit.


Brenkert-Smith, Hannah; Meldrum, James R.; Champ, Patricia A.; Barth, Christopher M. 2017. Where you stand depends on where you sit: Qualitative inquiry into notions of fire adaptation. Ecology and Society. 22(3): 7.