Reflections from 20 years examining the social dynamics of fire management
Sarah McCaffrey, retired in 2022 after 20 years as a fire social scientist with the US Forest Service where her research focused on understanding the social dynamics of fire management. This included research projects that examined the role of risk perception and risk attitudes, social acceptability of prescribed fire, homeowner mitigation decisions, evacuation decision making, risk communication, and agency-community interactions during fires. Since retirement she has been involved with a number of research and practitioner efforts to improve future fire outcomes including as an adviser to the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Wildfire Resilience Initiative and Board member for Fire Adapted Colorado. She received her PhD in 2002 from the University of California at Berkeley where her dissertation examined Incline Village, Nevada homeowner views and actions in relation to defensible space and fuels management.