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Living with wildfire in Delta County, Colorado: cross-community comparisons

Posted date: June 16, 2015
Publication Year: 
2015
Authors: Meldrum, James R.; Barth, Christopher M.; Colter Falk, Lilia; Brenkert-Smith, Hannah; Warziniack, TravisChamp, Patricia A.
Publication Series: 
Research Note (RN)
Source: Res. Note. RMRS-RN-67. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 33 p.

Abstract

This research note summarizes two linked datasets for four WUI communities in Delta County, Colorado. These data include a general population survey of residents in the community and an assessment of the physical characteristics of all residential properties in the community. This report summarizes the study design and focuses on the extent to which collected data vary across the four communities. It also provides information regarding knowledge, concern, and activities related to wildfire and wildfire risk mitigation among residents of each of the four communities, as well as the results of the corresponding assessment performed by a wildfire specialist for those same properties. The main finding of this study is that, despite the four communities being in close proximity of each other and all belonging to the same county in western Colorado, many measured variables vary significantly across communities. What variables did or did not vary across communities is complex and does not follow easy generalizations, suggesting the importance of specific, community-level context when researching or trying to influence perspectives on wildfire risk and wildfire risk mitigation actions. The information provided here may be useful to practitioners tasked with understanding and influencing the relationship of WUI residents with wildfire risk and to policymakers who must make decisions about wildfire suppression and risk mitigation.

Citation

Meldrum, James R.; Barth, Christopher, M.; Colter Falk, Lilia; Brenkert-Smith, Hannah; Warziniack, Travis; Champ, Patricia A. 2015. Living with wildfire in Delta County, Colorado: cross-community comparisons. Res. Note. RMRS-RN-67. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 33 p.