How We’ve Rebuilt : Collaboration, Community, Institutions, and Adaptation Following Catastrophic Wildland Fire in the United States Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/f7623g716

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  • In the study of rebuilding and recovery after natural disasters in the United States, little attention is paid to understanding how and why people rebuild following recurring, small-scale events, like wildfire. Hazard and risk literature, instead, is focused on understanding how larger communities with greater resources, economics, and social capital, rebuild and recover following hazardous one-time events, such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and tornadoes. (Mockrin, Stewart, Radeloff, Hammer, & Alexandre 2014). Through a Joint Fire Sciences Project grant, we analyze nine individual case studies in the United States, and the rebuilding practices of these local communities following catastrophic wildfire with significant structure and infrastructure loss. This dissertation examines rebuilding through the role of actors and sectors within institutions, both formal and informal, and their communities. The question of rebuilding is suited for institutional analysis, as long-term practices necessitate coordination between local government institutions, stakeholder groups, and residents. We use semi- structured interviews, ethnography, and secondary sources to examine the key players in rural and urban communities’ experiences of wildfire, dominant institution types in charge of fire adaptation and mitigation, rebuilding practices among communities with different governance structures and resources, methods of rebuilding following wildfire, and the adoption of fire management programs. Based on community context, their varied resources, and interview responses, we then make policy and program recommendations for future community actions and responses following catastrophic wildfire.
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