A JFSP Fire Science Exchange Network
Bringing People Together & Sharing Knowledge in the Northern Rockies

Perception and management of sociopolitical risks on large fires

Author(s): Armando Gonzalez-Caban, Donald G. MacGregor
Year Published: 2019

This work examines the perceived impact of sociopolitical factors on large fire decision making. The study is based on a set of 74 large fires in USDA Forest Service Regions 5 and 6 for the years 2009-2013. All participants were fire managers, some as part of units affected by incidents and others associated with incident management teams. A protocol was developed and implemented to support a combination of information collection approaches, including interviews, survey-type data collection, and encoding of information from incident documentation sources. Participants were asked whether there was direct involvement from influential individuals or groups in the incident management process. Their combined responses to these questions suggests that about 50% of the time they were aware of direct involvement by influential individuals and influential groups. When queried whether or not they personally saw, heard or read media coverage associated an incident at the time of the incident, the majority (63%) reported that either they had not or could not recall. Overall, respondents were somewhat aware of media reporting of incidents at the time of the incidents, and their knowledge of media reporting types covered a broad range of media pathways, including the Internet.

Citation: González-Cabán, Armando; MacGregor, Donald G. 2019. Perception and management of sociopolitical risks on large fires. In: González-Cabán, Armando; Sánchez, José J., tech. eds. Proceedings of the fifth international symposium on fire economics, planning, and policy: ecosystem services and wildfires. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-261 (English). Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 167-181.
Topic(s): Human Dimensions of Fire Management, Organizational Effectiveness, Decisionmaking & Sensemaking, Risk, Risk assessment
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Conference Proceedings
NRFSN number: 19086
Record updated: Mar 19, 2019