Canadian Forest Service Publications

An examination of the influence of hazard experience on wildfire risk perceptions and adoption of mitigation measures. 2009. McGee, T.K.; McFarlane, B.L.; Varghese, J. Society and Natural Resources 22(4): 308-323.

Year: 2009

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 29511

Language: English

Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (request by e-mail)

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Previous experience with a hazard has been identified as influencing risk perception and adoption of adjustments. However, this relationship is not clear and may depend on the differences in experiences that may occur within a community. This article describes residents' wildfire experiences and explores how these experiences may influence risk perceptions and implementation of mitigation measures 1 year after the 2003 Lost Creek and McLure wildfires in western Canada. Interviews were conducted with 40 residents with different wildfire experiences, including losing their home, being evacuated, self-evacuating early, staying in their house during a wildfire, and being away from the area. Results suggest that differences in hazard experiences can impact post-event risk perceptions and adoption of mitigation measures. Management implications are discussed.