A news article from Colorado Public Radio (CPR) discusses the fires that raged through Grand Lake last fall and how residents are on their own when it comes to protecting their homes. The article highlights Hannah Brenkert-Smith from IBS's Environment and Society Program and her work with WiRē. WiRē is a team of wildfire practitioners and social scientists whose work promotes the use of evidence to improve to help promote community wildfire mitigation efforts. While conducting research the team found that when individuals talk with their neighbors about wildfire risk, they do more risk mitigation than those who haven’t talked to their neighbors. From this research, Brenkert-Smith concludes that financial resources spent on community wide mitigation efforts are worthwhile.
“We’re spending so much money on suppression, and firefighters are putting their lives at risk when we could be investing instead at the front end of the problem,” Brenkert-Smith said. “And at that front end, actions by human beings are the key to reducing risk.”
For more information about Hannah’s work and wildfire mitigation efforts, read the full article on the CPR website.