Skip to main content

Social drivers of vulnerability to wildfire disasters: A review of the literature

Year of Publication
Publication Type

The increase of wildfire disasters globally has highlighted the need to understand and mitigate human vulnerability to wildfire. In response, there has been a substantial uptick in efforts to characterize and quantify wildfire vulnerability. Such efforts have largely focused on quantifying potential wildfire exposure and frequently overlooked the individual and community vulnerability to wildfire. Here, we review the emergent literature on social vulnerability to wildfire by synthesizing factors related to exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity that contribute to a population’s or community’s overall vulnerability to wildfires. We identify how those factors subsequently affect an individual’s or community’s agency to enact change, and highlight that many of the current paradigms for reducing wildfire vulnerability fail to acknowledge and address the importance of inequalities that create differential vulnerability. We suggest that paying attention to the systems and conditions that give rise to such vulnerability can ameliorate these shortcomings by centering solutions which address adaptation equity rather than landscape outcomes.

N. Lambrou; C. Kolden; A. Loukaitou-Sideris; E. Anjum; C. Acey

Lambrou N, Kolden C, Loukaitou-Sideris A, Anjum E, Acey C. Social drivers of vulnerability to wildfire disasters: A review of the literature. Landscape and Urban Planning [Internet]. 2023 ;237. Available from:…

Publication Keywords