Interactions between Resident Risk Perceptions and Wildfire Risk Mitigation

In this recent article in the journal Fire, the WiRē Team investigates relationships among wildfire hazards, residents’ risk perceptions, and conditions associated with mitigation actions for approximately 2000 homes in western Colorado. The analysis depends on the unique combination of data collected in the WiRē Approach, which pairs household survey and professional assessment data for all homes in a community. We find that the relationship goes both ways: risk perceptions influence mitigation actions, and mitigation actions influence risk perceptions — a result that demonstrates why simple statistics such as correlation coefficients can sometimes be misleading. We also find that WUI residents’ decisions about risk mitigation actions are influenced by perceptions of the wildfire hazard as well as by perceived barriers and efficacy of mitigation. Read the full article at: