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Public Experience, Attitudes, & Knowledge Toward Forest Fire, Risk, & Recovery J.M. Bowker, H.K. Cordell, S. Rideout-Hanzak, C.Y. Johnson USDA Forest Service S-H. Lim, G.T. Green University of Georgia JFSP PI Workshop Phoenix, AZ 4/8/04 Objectives Explore Public’s

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public experience attitudes knowledge toward forest fire risk recovery

Public Experience, Attitudes, & Knowledge Toward Forest Fire, Risk, & Recovery

J.M. Bowker, H.K. Cordell,

S. Rideout-Hanzak, C.Y. Johnson

USDA Forest Service

S-H. Lim, G.T. Green

University of Georgia

JFSP PI Workshop Phoenix, AZ 4/8/04

objectives
Objectives
  • Explore Public’s

- Experience with forest fire

- Knowledge of fire & fire ecology

- Attitudes -Fire Management

- Attitudes - Fire risk

- Fire prevention behavior

objectives3
Objectives
  • Assess Explanatory Factors

- Gender, Race, Age

-Income, Education, Employment

- Region, Immigration

- Where-raised, Where-living

methods
Methods
  • Data

- National telephone survey (NSRE)

- Approx 40 questions

- Two treatments @ 3000

      • Fall 2002 – Spring 2003
      • Fall 2003 – Spring 2004

www.srs.fs.usda.gov/trends/Nsre/nsre2.html

methods5
Methods
  • Analysis

- Frequencies (post sample wts)

- Logistic regression

      • Binary, Multinomial, Ordered

- Poisson knowledge score model

- Excel probability spreadsheets

results n 3000
Results (n=3000+)
  • ExperienceYes(%)

- Seen, heard, read 3 mo 86

- Diff wild vs prescribed 83

- Ever witness forest fire 40

- Seen forest post burn 67

- Smoke affected travel 39

- Fire altered rec plans 19

results
Results
  • RiskVery Likely (%)

- Fire w/i 10 mi home 26

Concerned (%)

- Home damaged fire 10

- Smoke prescribed fire 34

- Wildlife prescribed fire 48

- Scenery prescribed fire 40

results8
Results
  • Risk AvoidanceYes(%)

- Clear vegetation from 35

buildings

- Spray herbicide control 12

undergrowth

- Extra property insurance 36

- Keep firefighting equip 30

- Routinely burn under- 7

growth around home

results9
Results
  • KnowledgeTrue(%)

- Most wildfires natural 40

- Wildfire destructive 52

long-term forest health

- Wildfire a leading 47

environmental problem

results10
Results
  • KnowledgeTrue (%)

- Prescribed & wildfire 43

similar effects

- Prescribed fire kills too 26

many large trees

- Prescribed regularly 21

out of control

- Prescribed fire reduces 79

wildfire risk

results11
Results
  • KnowledgeTrue (%)

- Fire increases chances 23

insect or disease o-b’s

- Fire useful to control 64

undesirable weeds

- Many plants require 57

fire in life cycle

results12
Results
  • AttitudesAgree (%)

- Natural recovery 56

- Put out all wildfires 51

- Allow remote burns 38

if humans unthreatened

- Post fire timber salvage 71

makes sense

results13
Results
  • AttitudesAgree (%)

- People choosing to live 91

near forests accept risks

- Homeowners should follow 80

gov’t guidelines to manage

for wildfire risk

results14
Results
  • AttitudesAgree (%)

- Public land managers …

- Trusted to select best 66

methods for wildfire

- Use mechanical ground 58

veg removal

- Use chemical treatments 26

- Use prescribed fire 74

results15
Results
  • Attitudes Concerned (%)

- Public land managers’

ability to manage fire 36

in forests & rangeland

- Gov’t not consider tax- 51

payer costs…

- Gov’t not consider long- 66

term ecosystem health …

results16
Results
  • FactorsSignificant

- Race Most

- Gender Most

- Region Most

- Age Often

- Income Often

- Education Often

some implications
Some Implications
  • Experience
      • 15% - Simply not tuned in
  • Attitudes
      • Buyer beware
      • Timber salvage
      • Anti-chemical
      • Prescribed fire wins
      • Ecosystem health
      • Pro’s generally trusted …