Social Vulnerability and Wildfire in the Wildland-Urban Interface

TitleSocial Vulnerability and Wildfire in the Wildland-Urban Interface
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsCoughlan, MR, Ellison, A, Cavanaugh, A
Date Published10/2019
InstitutionNorthwest Fire Science Consortium
Keywordssocial vulnerability, synthesis, wildland urban interface

People living in the Pacific Northwest confront
risks associated with environmental
hazards such as wildfire. Vulnerability to
wildfire hazard is commonly recognized as being
spatially distributed according to geographic conditions
that collectively determine the probability
of exposure. For example, exposure to wildfire
hazard is higher for people living in rural, forested
settings than in a strictly urban neighborhood because
rural housing is built in close proximity to
the threat source, e.g., flammable landscapes such
as forests and chaparral. Yet, even if levels of exposure
are held constant, not all people are equally
susceptible to wildfire events. In other words, some
people are more vulnerable to harm than others.