Title Managing Wildland Fire Risks: Climate and Weather Information and Uncertainty
Type Research
Abstract This project seeks to develop methods to: (a) identify the significance of uncertainty about wildfire risks, including climate-related variability in such risks, and (b) document what people understand about wildfire likelihood and behavior and about the role of climate variability and (c) assess the value of various types of information for decisions regarding land development and wildfire risk mitigation at the urban/wildland fringe. In particular, the project examines the extent to which decisions to build or to engage in risk mitigation investments are sensitive to differences in perceived probabilities of damaging fire events. We take the perspective of looking at the relevant decisions as multi-faceted investment and consumption decisions made under uncertainty. The project team is conducting a survey to elicit information about how people form their perceptions of wildfire risks-and in particular how scientific information does, or could, play a role in promoting realistic understandings of these risks.
Participants Kathleen Miller
Stacey Schulte (University of Colorado)
Alison Cullen (University of Washington)
Start Date approximately 2003
Funders NSF
Keywords wildfire, uncertainty, decision making
Research Themes Use of Scientific Information in Decision Processes Assessment Methods, Products and Tools


"Because the pathway to sustainability cannot be charted in advance, it will have to be navigated through trial and error and conscious experimentation. The urgent need is to design strategies and institutions that can better integrate incomplete knowledge with experimental action into programs of adaptive management and social learning."
NRC, Our Common Journey (1999)