Interactions between resident risk perceptions and wildfire risk mitigation: Evidence from simultaneous equations modeling

Fire
By: , and 

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Abstract

Fire science emphasizes that mitigation actions on residential property, including structural hardening and maintaining defensible space, can reduce the risk of wildfire at a home. Accordingly, a rich body of social science literature investigates the determinants of wildfire risk mitigation behaviors of residents living in fire-prone areas. Here, we investigate relationships among wildfire hazards, residents’ risk perceptions, and conditions associated with mitigation actions using a combination of simulated wildfire conditions, household survey responses, and professionally assessed parcel characteristic data. We estimate a simultaneous model of these data that accounts for potential direct feedbacks between risk perceptions and parcel-level conditions. We also compare the use of self-reported versus assessed parcel-level data for estimating these relationships. Our analysis relies on paired survey and assessment data for approximately 2000 homes in western Colorado. Our simultaneous model demonstrates dual-directional interactions between risk perceptions and conditions associated with mitigation actions, with important implications for inference from simpler approaches. In addition to improving general understanding of decision-making about risk and natural hazards, our findings can support the effectiveness of publicly supported programs intended to encourage mitigation to reduce society’s overall wildfire risk.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Interactions between resident risk perceptions and wildfire risk mitigation: Evidence from simultaneous equations modeling
Series title Fire
DOI 10.3390/fire2030046
Volume 2
Issue 3
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher MDPI
Contributing office(s) Fort Collins Science Center
Description 46, 18 p.