3b.6 Assessing Climate Services in Wildland Fire Management - A Social Network Analysis of the Southwest

Monday, 18 July 2011: 4:45 PM
Salon C2 (Asheville Renaissance)
Timothy J. Brown, DRI, Reno, Nevada; and G. Owen, J. McLeod, C. A. Kolden, and D. Ferguson

Wildfire management presents a compelling perspective from which to view perceptions and uses of climate information and climate forecasts. Fire managers currently have access to many types of information that are critical to their success. However, it is not well known how and when these different types of information influence fire management during the fire season. By surveying a population of fire management professionals in the Southwest, we sought to understand how current climate-based products were perceived and used in fire management practices in relation to the other types of information commonly used. Through a social network analysis these preferences were viewed in the context of personal, professional, and institutional ties that affect the distribution and acceptance of new forms of information. This paper will describe the results of the social network analysis, and discuss climate services and applying climatology from a fire management perspective.
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