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Corpus Systématique Végétale

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Scientific and social challenges for the management of fire-prone wildlandurbaninterfaces

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Mots-clés d'auteur
  • fire behaviour
  • urbanwildland interface
  • social disasters
  • stay-or-go
  • defensible space
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  • A Malcolm Gill 1
  • Scott L Stephens 2
  • 1) Fenner School of Environment and Society, The Australian National University, Acton, ACT, 0200, Australia
  • 2) Division of Ecosystem Science, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, 137 Mulford Hall, Berkeley, CA, USA

At their worst, fires at the ruralurban or wildlandurban interface cause tragic loss ofhuman lives and homes, but mitigating these fire effects through management elicits manysocial and scientific challenges. This paper addresses four interconnected managementchallenges posed by socially disastrous landscape fires. The issues concern various assets(particularly houses, human life and biodiversity), fuel treatments, and fire and humanbehaviours. The topics considered are: asset protection zones; defensible space and urbanfire spread in relation to house ignition and loss; stay-or-go policy and the prediction oftime available for safe egress and the possible conflict between the creation ofdefensible space and wildland management objectives. The first scientific challenge isto model the effective width of an asset protection zone of an urban area. Thesecond is to consider the effect of vegetation around a house, potentially defensiblespace, on fire arrival at the structure. The third scientific challenge is to presentstakeholders with accurate information on rates of spread, and where the fire frontis located, so as to allow them to plan safe egress or preparation time in theirparticular circumstances. The fourth scientific challenge is to be able to predict theeffects of fires on wildland species composition. Associated with each scientificchallenge is a social challenge: for the first two scientific challenges the socialchallenge is to co-ordinate fuel management within and between the urban and ruralor wildland sides of the interface. For the third scientific challenge, the socialchallenge is to be aware of, and appropriately use, fire danger information so that thepotential for safe egress from a home can be estimated most accurately. Finally, thefourth social challenge is to for local residents of wildlandurban interfaces with aninterest in biodiversity conservation to understand the effects of fire regimes onbiodiversity, thereby assisting hard-pressed wildland managers to make informed choices.

Catégories INIST
  • 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
  • 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
  • 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
Catégories Scopus
  • 1 - Health Sciences ; 2 - Medicine ; 3 - Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • 1 - Physical Sciences ; 2 - Environmental Science ; 3 - General Environmental Science
  • 1 - Physical Sciences ; 2 - Energy ; 3 - Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
Catégories WoS
  • 1 - science ; 2 - meteorology & atmospheric sciences
  • 1 - science ; 2 - environmental sciences
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Environmental Research Letters

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