Public Perspectives of Fire Management
Wildfire management agencies increasingly seek to understand what the public values and expects to be protected from wildfire and its management. Recent conceptual development demonstrates the utility of considering values at three levels of abstraction: localised valued entities such as people, places and objects; valued attributes of communities and landscapes; and core values, or ideals that guide in life. We used a large-scale survey (n = 1105) in Victoria, Australia, to test and extend this framework. The results confirm the usefulness of the conceptual framework and demonstrate that values that members of the public consider at risk of wildfire are much more diverse than those typically considered in wildfire risk management. Relationships between values at different levels of abstraction are meaningful and reveal the multiple ways that objects, places and people become valued. The research suggests ways to understand and practically incorporate values of the public in wildfire management.