The increasing frequency of wildfires has posed significant challenges to communities worldwide. The effectiveness of all aspects of disaster management depends on a credible estimation of the prevailing risk.
Evacuation is a crucial policy to mitigate wildfire impacts. Understanding traffic dynamics during a wildfire evacuation can help authorities to improve in improving emergency management plans, thus improving life safety.
As wildfires are increasingly causing negative impacts to communities and their livelihoods, many communities are demanding more proactive and locally driven approaches to address wildfire risk. This marks a shift away from centralized governance models where decision-making is concentrated in government agencies that prioritize reactive wildfire suppression.
While increased length and intensity of wildfire seasons in many places have led to more concern about wildland firefighter safety, we believe ethnography has been underutilized as a method within this domain. In response, we begin building a shared idiom for ethnographic engagement with wildland firefighter safety and similar occupations.
Objectives. To describe demographic and social characteristics of US communities exposed to wildfire smoke.
Methods. Using satellite-collected data on wildfire smoke with the locations of population centers in the coterminous United States, we identified communities potentially exposed to light-, medium-, and heavy-density smoke plumes for each day from 2011 to 2021.
Understanding of the vulnerability of populations exposed to wildfires is limited. We used an index from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to assess the social vulnerability of populations exposed to wildfire from 2000–2021 in California, Oregon, and Washington, which accounted for 90% of exposures in the western United States.
Dominant causal explanations of the wildfire threat in California include anthropogenic climate change, fire suppression, industrial logging, and the expansion of residential settlements, which are all products of settler colonial property regimes and structures of resource extraction.
Wildfires are increasing in frequency, raising concerns that smoke can permeate indoor environments and expose people to chemical air contaminants. To study smoke transformations in indoor environments and evaluate mitigation strategies, we added smoke to a test house.