The lost summer: Community experiences of large wildfires in Trinity County, California
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Working Paper 30. Eugene, OR: University of Oregon, Institute for a Sustainable Environment, Ecosystem Workforce Program. 12 p.
As wildfires are increasing in scale and duration, and communities are increasingly located where these wildfires are occurring, we need a clearer understanding of how large wildfires affect economic and social well being. These wildfires can have complex impacts on rural public lands communities. They can threaten homes, public health, and livelihoods. Wildfires can burn timber, make recreation and tourism unappealing, and affect agricultural production. Yet suppression of large wildfires involves significant government spending and mobilization of considerable human resources. While wildfires themselves may displace normal economic activity during the fire, the process of suppression can create other types of economic activities. However, community social impacts are also intertwined with economic impacts in significant ways. This paper identifies these interrelated impacts by examining perspectives of community residents and agency personnel in Trinity County, California. Over a dozen large wildfires burned in Trinity County in summer 2008. This case is part of a larger study on the economic impacts of large wildfires across the American West. The larger study examines the relationship between wildfire, Forest Service fire suppression, and local labor markets in rural counties where large wildfires occurred.
Davis, Emily J.; Moseley, Cassandra; Jakes, Pamela; Nielsen-Pincus, Max. 2011. The lost summer: Community experiences of large wildfires in Trinity County, California. Working Paper 30. Eugene, OR: University of Oregon, Institute for a Sustainable Environment, Ecosystem Workforce Program. 12 p.