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Understanding social impact from wildfires: advancing means for assessment

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There is no uniform means for assessing social impact from wildland fires beyond statistics such as home loss, suppression costs and the number of residents evacuated. In this paper we argue for and provide a more comprehensive set of considerations for gauging social impact following wildfires. These expanded considerations can advance methods for determining how social impacts from wildfire are changing over time and among diverse communities affected by fire. Our preliminary considerations for social impact from wildfire are drawn from the synthesis of the literature on wildfire and other hazards. We explain how our considerations cover existing research insights and advance them by accounting for wildfire-specific impacts. Considerations are presented as a series of questions that could be answered by an assemblage of outside professionals and local key informants in an affected area for comparison and policy purposes. Those considerations could also be used to advance research questions related to wildfire exposure and impact. We discuss multiple methodological strategies for collecting and analysing data that would be needed to answer considerations presented as part of this synthesis. This includes potential methods for using those considerations to assess social impact across communities.
T.B. Paveglio
Paveglio TB. Understanding social impact from wildfires: advancing means for assessment Brenkert-Smith H. International Journal of Wildland Fire [Internet]. 2015 ;Online early. Available from: