Alex W. Kirkpatrick
Year Published:

Cataloging Information

Fire Communication & Education
Human Dimensions of Fire Management

Record updated: February 16, 2022
NRFSN number: 24286

Evacuation is considered by many to be the safest action for residents to take when threatened by a wildfire. However, not all residents agree and evacuate in the face of an approaching wildfire, instead preferring to stay and defend their properties or else wait and see how the threat evolves before making a decision. There exists a lack of understanding among agencies, fire professionals, and residents themselves as to what action, if any, residents intend to take when wildfire approaches their property, and what role event-based cues and pre-fire actions play in predicting these actions. Researchers at the University of Idaho addressed this gap by exploring the influence of pre-fire preparation efforts and event-based cues on intended behavior during wildfire among residents in and around McCall, Idaho, an area at high risk from wildfire that has not been subject to an evacuation in a long time, meaning that intended behaviors are not biased by recent experiences.

The researchers collected and analyzed data from 1,349 completed household surveys in the area concerning stated evacuation behavior, private property wildfire mitigations, cues that might prompt evacuation decisions, and perspectives about wildfire management.


Kirkpatrick, A.W. 2021. Intended Evacuation Behaviors During Wildfire. FireEarth Science Brief No. 07. Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, Washington State University. 2p

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