Canadian Forest Service Publications

How historic and current wildfire experiences in an Aboriginal community influence mitigation preferences. 2012. Christianson, A.; McGee, T.K.; L'Hirondelle, L. International Journal of Wildland Fire 22(4):527-536.

Year: 2012

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 35340

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1071/WF12041

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Peavine Métis Settlement is located in the boreal forest in Northern Alberta, Canada. The objective of this paper was to explore how different wildfire experiences in an Aboriginal community influence wildfire mitigation preferences at the residential and community levels. Residents of Peavine had varying experiences with wildfire over an extended period of time including traditional burning, firefighting employment and bystanders. Despite these different experiences, participants still implemented or supported wildfire mitigation activities, although for differing reasons depending on experience type. Participants were found to have implemented or supported wildfire mitigation activities on the settlement, including their own properties and public land. Experience type influenced why wildfire mitigation had been implemented or supported: primarily wildfire risk reduction (firefighters), primarily aesthetic benefits (bystanders) and for both aesthetic benefits and wildfire risk reduction (historic traditional burners). The extensive fire experiences of residents at Peavine Métis Settlement have provided insights into how experience influences mitigation preferences. The results show it is important to consider predominant wildfire experience types in a community before developing a wildfire mitigation program. The findings of this study may have relevance for other Aboriginal communities that have experience with wildfires.