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Title: Defensible space in the news: public discussion of a neglected topic
Author: Johnson, Jayne Fingerman; Bengston, David N.; Nelson, Kristen C.; Fan, David P.
Publication: In: McCaffrey, S.M., tech. ed. The public and wildland fire management: social science findings for managers. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-1. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 169-174.
Key Words: communication, fuels treatments, defensible space, wildfire management, social acceptance, education, wildland urban interface
Abstract: Managers have an opportunity during times of peak media coverage of wildfire to expand the discussion about defensible space from the current focus on vegetation clearing to include the full range of activities a homeowner can undertake to mitigate damage. Currently, news media discussion of wildfire is overwhelmingly dominated by firefighting, and discussion of defensible space is a minute fraction of the total. Coverage of defensible space focuses on vegetation clearing around homes to the exclusion of other practices such as maintenance and fire-resistant building materials. Only 20 percent of all defensible space media coverage mentions defensible space around communities.
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