Canadian Forest Service Publications

Trust: a planning guide for wildfire agencies and practitioners - an international collaboration drawing on research and management experience in Australia, Canada, and the United States. 2014. Shindler, B.; Olsen, C.; McCaffrey, S.; McFarlane, B.; Christianson, A.; McGee, T.; Curtis, A.; Sharp, E. A Joint Fire Science Program Research Publication. Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR.

Year: 2014

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 35399

Language: English

Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (download)

Mark record


This planning guide is the outcome of an international collaboration of researchers and practitioners/field managers working in communities at risk of wildfire in three countries. Initially, the team of social scientists from Australia, Canada, and the United States utilized the collective research literature to examine factors that influence stakeholder trust. A working draft of this document was shared with experienced agency personnel and community leaders previous to interactive workshops and field visits in each country. This allowed for deliberations of the essential features of building trust among parties. The discussions and contributions, as well as subsequent review, by workshop participants shaped this final document.

Plain Language Summary

The social impacts of wildfires in Australia, Canada and the U.S. have increased in recent years, particularly in the wildland-urban interface where population growth and industrial development has resulted in greater risk to people and property. In response, management agencies are putting more emphasis on shared responsibility and partnerships with stakeholders and communities for wildfire protection. Stakeholder trust in management agencies has been identified as a key factor in building partnerships and delivering effective wildfire protection programs.

Social scientists from Australia, Canada, and the US initiated an international, collaborative study on the role of trust in wildfire management. The group developed a practical guide for building and maintaining trust among stakeholders. The guide describes the relevance of trust in wildfire management and planning and important factors that influence trust. It outlines a set of actions that management agencies can take to achieve desired outcomes, and it presents examples from each country to illustrate how trust was built and the contribution of trust to achieving management goals.

This guide will be of interest to wildfire management agencies, organizations, companies, communities and citizens who have an interest or stake in local resources and the outcomes of wildfire management programs. The guide has implications for agency communications and stakeholder input in wildfire management plans, and response and recovery policy and operations.