Increases in the severity and frequency of wildland fires during recent drought years in the Inter-Mountain West have coincided with growth in both housing developments and recreation in wildland areas. The results of such a convergence in 2003 were large, composite wildfires that threatened communities, strained firefighting resources and caused evacuations from many cities and towns. The strength, size, and proximity to populated areas of these wildfires demanded unprecedented levels of communication among agencies, and between agencies and the general public. This quick response research study of two wildfire events in the San Bernardino Mountains evaluated the communication needs of the public in this wildfire context and explored current agency responses to those needs. This study focused on fire communication before, during and immediately after a fire event because it represents a gap in the fire social science research literature.
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USGS Numbered Series
Communicating with wildland interface communities during wildfire