Research on Causal Attribution of Wildfire: An Exploratory Multiple-Methods Approach
Society & Natural Resources
Taylor & Francis
Although studies show that actions by property owners, such as maintaining a defensible space, are generally the best means of protecting property from wildfire, victims often blame government agencies and others for property damage, injury, and death. This article describes a multiple-methods approach for investigating factors that influence how people who experience wildfire perceive the cause of wildfire damage. Phase I and II mail surveys and real-time field interviews were conducted in communities on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada. Generally speaking, people who had experienced wildfire attributed damage to other people's actions more than people who had not. Whether residents incurred damage or not, having maintained a sense of control or interacting with firefighters also appears to have influenced attributions. We argue that multiple-methods approaches to such questions have the potential to reveal more about such phenomena than approaches based on any single method.
Kumagai, Y. J. C. Bliss, S. E. Daniels and M. S. Carroll. 2004. Real-time research on causal attribution of wildfire: An exploratory multiple methods approach. Society and Natural Resources 17:113-127