Identifier

etd-11172010-151513

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Renewable Natural Resources

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Wildfire has been suppressed in the nation’s forests for over a hundred years. The accumulation of forest fuels over time has created an urgent need to reduce fuel loads to prevent catastrophic wildfires from occurring, not only in our wildlands, but also in our Wildland/Urban Interfaces (WUI’s). The residents who live within the WUI are particularly vulnerable to extreme wildfire events. As cities become more densely populated, increasing numbers of people are moving beyond the suburbs into the WUI. A complex matrix of structures and forested land, developing communities, and impinging forests exists within the WUI. This study utilized a survey instrument to elicit perceptions of wildfire risk and prescribed burning practices from residents within the WUI in the Florida parishes of southeastern Louisiana. Residents within the WUI show increasing interest in learning more about wildfire risk, acceptance for traditional forest management practices, such as prescribed burning, and willingness to interact with and receive education from the forest professionals in their region. The analysis of the data provides statistical support for the conclusion that the overall perception of wildfire risk is low and the acceptance of prescribed burning is high.

Date

2010

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

. de Hoop, Cornelis F.

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