Incorporating social diversity into wildfire management: Proposing “pathways” for fire adaptation

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This article extends an existing approach by articulating how characteristic patterns of local social context might be used to generate a range of fire adaptation “pathways” that can be applied variably across communities. Each ‘pathway’ would specify a distinct combination of actions, potential policies and incentives that best reflect the social dynamics, ecological stressors, and accepted institutional functions that people in diverse communities are likely to enact. We contend that advancement of the conceptual tools introduced in this article can aid communities in the development of flexible, scenario- based approaches for addressing wildfire adaptation in different situations. Processes outlined in the article also serve as a unifying way to document, test, and advance flexible approaches professionals can use to work with local populations in the co-development of wildfire management strategies.