USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station

Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

Research Topics Fire Science

Local and regional community response

Community members plant new trees near a re-constructed home among burned and green conifer trees with snow covered mountains in the background
Lake Tahoe Science Magnet School children and volunteers plant trees near re-constructed homes after the Angora Fire. U.S. Forest Service photo by Lisa Herron.

Studies have aided an understanding of forest visitors’ and tourists’ responses to fire and fire management, which may be a key area of inquiry because of the significant role forests have in providing recreation and tourism opportunities, and in local economic stability pre- and post-fire.

In many cases fire has less detrimental impacts on recreation and tourism than imagined, although perceived personal risk in the immediate area for a planned visit, local economic disruptions, or concerns surrounding smoke’s impacts on health, have more direct effects.

The ongoing challenge of tradeoffs between short and long-term risk is of special concern in aiming for longer term socioecological resilience. These challenges and how to proactively address them remain an essential area of inquiry moving forward, with findings of practical importance to fire management effectiveness and improved firefighter and community safety in the short-term, and longer term sustainability and socioecological well-being in the long-term.

Findings have contributed to an understanding of the dynamics behind how decisions are made by fire managers, and how information may be provided to facilitate ongoing effectiveness, efficiency, and overall safety of personnel and the public.

Publications and references: