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Wildlife mitigation : overcoming the overwhelming

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Title:
Wildlife mitigation : overcoming the overwhelming
Creator:
Bogan, Sam
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
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Language:
English

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Master's ( Master of public administration)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
School of Public Affairs, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Public administration
Committee Chair:
Martell, Christine
Committee Members:
Crow, Deserai

Notes

General Note:
Spring 2018

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Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
Copyright Sam Bogan. Permission granted to University of Colorado Denver to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

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Full Text
Running head: WILDLIFE MITIGATION
Wildlife Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan
University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs
This client-based project is submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Public Administration in the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver Denver, Colorado
Spring
2018


Wildfire Mitigation:
Overcoming the Overwhelming
Capstone Project Disclosures
Sam Bogan
This client-based project was completed on behalf of the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority and supervised by PUAD 5361 Capstone course instructor Christine Martell, PhD and second faculty reader Deserai Crow, PhD. This project does not necessarily reflect the views of the School of Public Affairs or the faculty readers. Raw data were not included in this document, rather relevant materials were provided directly to the client. Permissions to include this project in the Auraria Library Digital Repository are found in the final appendix. Questions about this capstone project should be directed to the student author.
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Wildfire Mitigation:
Overcoming the Overwhelming
Sam Bogan
Executive Summary
The Loveland Fire Rescue Authority (LFRA) has requested recommendations to overcome challenges associated with wildfire mitigation activities on private land located within Loveland’s wilderness-urban interface. Such challenges include achieving whole community wildfire mitigation, motivating residents, finding acceptable levels of mitigation support, and determining the role the LFRA should play in educating and supporting mitigation activities. A study was conducted through interviews and a focus group to try to determine recommendations for the LFRA on how to foster successful partnerships, identify challenges that need to be overcome to support mitigation efforts, and what role they should play throughout the process.
This study found that most residents do want to mitigate against wildfires but simply lack the funding, time, or ability to do so. They see it as overwhelming and inconvenient given other priorities in their lives. It is not a matter of desire but a matter of capability that keeps most residents from acting.
A successful strategy for gaining support for wildfire mitigation in the Loveland WUI is to attack the overwhelming feeling mitigation activities create and provide the residents with manageable tasks and resources. To do this, the LFRA should develop an advisory board to participate in the development of the mitigation program, work with insurance brokers to establish discounts for mitigation, develop resources to relieve the challenges time and ability present to residents, and empower residents to continue mitigation activities into the future. By focusing on the specific needs of the residents and providing various options aimed at making it as easy as possible for a them to mitigate their property, the LFRA will find a higher rate of participation and grow a long-lasting partnership with their WUI residents.
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Overcoming the Overwhelming
Sam Bogan
Introduction
The question of how to get wildland-urban interface (WUI) residents to participate in wildfire mitigation activities is a constant struggle for local agencies trying to improve community defenses against wildfire. The WUI is home to residents with diverse backgrounds with a variety reasons for owning property. So how can local agencies encourage residents to mitigate their properties in turn creating resilient communities? What role should local agencies take in educating and supporting mitigation activities in their communities? What can local agencies offer to assist residents to tackle the challenges they face when attempting to mitigate their property? The Loveland Fire Rescue Authority (LFRA) has requested that this project recommend strategies to overcome these challenges, so it may foster partnerships during future efforts to achieve whole community wildfire mitigation.
The City of Loveland was established in 1881 and has prospered thanks to its location along the Overland Stage Trail, placement of a Great Western Sugar Company factory, cherry farms, and recently an abundance of jobs (Loveland Chamber of Commerce, History of Loveland). The Loveland Fire Rescue Authority (LFRA) district covers approximately 190 square miles and includes both the City of Loveland and residents living within the Loveland Rural Fire Protection District (LRFPD), for a combined population of approximately 87,500 (City of Loveland, Fire Rescue). The LFRA plans to apply for grant funding to provide resources to the WUI and lower the risk a wildfire would cause to homes and buildings within the communities along the western boundary of Loveland. This paper provides foundational information for the grant application as justification as to how and why LFRA plans to use grant funding if awarded. LFRA will also use the findings to modify and tailor fit a wildland risk reduction and safety outreach program to the targets audiences.
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Sam Bogan
The wildland-urban interface (WUI) is defined as areas where “houses meet or intermingle with undeveloped wildland vegetation” and can be broken down further as intermix or interface WUI (Radeloff, Hammer, Stewart, Fried, Holcomb, & McKeefry, 2005, p. 800). Intermix describes when houses and wildland vegetation intermingle while interface WUI is when developed areas abut wildland vegetation (Radeloff et all, 2005). The WUI fire problem has increased over the years in intensity and frequency in part due to the potential of high intensity fires caused by years of fuel buildup (Cohen, 2008). The abundance of surface and ladder fuels allow for crown fires to occur which set the stage for extreme fire conditions that leave WUI structures susceptible to quick ignition and little firefighting resources (Cohen, 2008).
A long standing and still used method for protecting the WUI for years was fuel treatments (e.g., prescribed bums and mechanical removal) conducted mostly on public lands in and near communities within the WUI. Recently, an emphasis has been placed on programs that support the mitigation of homes and structures in the WUI. Mitigation of homes include creating a defensible space around the structure by using fire-resistant building materials and regularly clearing combustibles around structures. Mitigation has been shown to improve the chances of structure survival and has become a standard part of some home insurance programs.
Calkin, Cohen, Finney, & Thompson (2014) found “mitigation of the home ignition zone (HIZ) is the most cost-effective investment for reducing home destruction” (p. 750). The HIZ is a zone-based fire reduction technique providing guidance on how to mitigate starting at the home and working out towards the edges of the property. Data show that most WUI disasters are not caused directly by wildfire, but from smaller fires caused by the main fire (Cohen, 2008). The theory of HIZ is to clear an area around the structure so that these smaller fires cannot occur near the home, thus sparing the home from burning down. However, most inhabitants of the WUI do
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not clear debris regularly and are inclined not to remove trees and vegetation due to a sentiment of environmentalism or more likely, an emotional attachment with the aesthetics of their property. Keith Worley, a supporter of Firewise communities, said “people brag about how many trees they saved when they built their house in an overgrown, forest, as if this was a good thing” when discussing the hesitation of creating home ignition zones (Wells, 2014).
Mitigation has been shown to improve the chances of structure survival and has become a standard part of some fire insurance programs. The difference seen between mitigated and non-mitigated homes is evident in the Cathedral Pines neighborhood during the Black Forest fire of 2013 near Colorado Springs, Colorado. This neighborhood mitigated as a whole and the result was the loss of only one home, while less or unmitigated neighborhoods nearby totaled 511 losses, the most in Colorado history (Marotti, 2013). There are ways to mitigate and keep the natural beauty of one’s home through fire-resistant plants, spacing of trees, structural improvements such as fire-resistant siding and shingles, and general upkeep of both private property and public land to remove surface and ladder fuels. A community is stronger if every home participates as it minimizes the overall risk of wildfire spreading from house to house. However, there is not an easy way to get every home to participate when mitigation requires routine labor and changing a landscape that could be the very reason some home owners chose to live in the WUI.
As the focus of mitigation moves from public to private lands, the purpose of this paper is to allow agencies, like the LFRA, to develop new strategies to increase participation in private land mitigation activities. This paper includes a literature review focused on private land mitigation challenges, a review of the research questions, a description of the data sources,
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collection methods, data analysis, results, discussion on findings, and recommendations for LFRA.
Overview of Loveland Fire & Rescue Authority
Loveland has had a fire department serving its community since 1883. Two competing services eventually combined in 1911 to serve the City of Loveland. However, serving the areas beyond city limits was always difficult due to the equipment and resources, so in 1950, the Loveland Rural Fire Protection District was formed to provide fire services to those areas beyond city boundaries. In 2012, the City of Loveland and the Loveland Rural Fire Protection District established the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority Fire Authority (LFRA) responsible for all fire and emergency services within the boundaries of the Loveland Rural Fire Protection District and the City of Loveland.
The LFRA’s mission is “Through commitment, compassion and courage, the mission of the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority (LFRA) is to protect life and property.” It combines career and volunteer fighter fighters as well as approximately 90 staff members to make up its workforce. The LFRA provides fire and rescue services in an area totaling approximately 190 square miles and includes a volunteer battalion that serves the western boundary which is critical to fire response of the Loveland WUI.
Literature Review
Scholars have conducted several studies to understand the problem associated with gaining widespread cooperation from residents to mitigate private property within the WUI. In this body of literature there is recent increased focus of mitigation of homes and private lands to mitigate against wildfires. There are many difficulties to cooperation of private residents such as
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access to private land, cost, perception of those trying to promote mitigation, understanding of risk, and willingness to participate. However, many scholars have found the benefits of home protection to be a better use of resources and provides the highest probability of survival to the home when a wildfire hits, so it is important to find new ways to partner with citizens of the WUI. This section first discusses the growing threat of wildfires to WUI communities, then focuses on moving towards private land mitigation and discuss the benefits of and hesitation by private residents to mitigate, and finally outlines how increased education, social interaction, and creative new ways to partner with the communities are needed to have effective mitigation programs in the WUI.
WUI protection is a growing problem
Development in the wildland-urban interface (WUI) has rapidly increased over the past 20 years due to the desire and accessibility of wooded, natural properties. This expansion of communities into areas of natural lands “is resulting in increased wildfire risk to private property” (Schoennagel, Nelson, Theobald, Carnwath, and Chapman, 2009, p. 10706). Wildfire related insured losses have seen a $6.2 billion increase over the past decade demonstrating the sharp increase of high-value assets that are now being impacted (Calkin, Cohen, Finney, & Thompson, 2014, p.746). The majority of wildfire suppression costs are being directed toward the protection of people and their properties. Calkin et al. (2014) see a need for overcoming the perception that WUI fire disasters are a wildfire control problem and instead suggest it be seen as a home ignition problem focusing on the protection of homes to reduce loss. Penman, Eriksen, Horsey, and Bradstock (2016) explain that “preparing the house and grounds reduces the fuels on and around the structures to decrease the probability of the structure igniting from embers to reduce the severability of fire behavior on or around the structure” (p. 88). Unfortunately, they
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also explain that only a small number of residents adequately prepares their homes against wildfire (Penman et al, 2016).
Current fire mitigation treatments do not protect WUI communities
Mitigation treatments funded by the US Forrest Service and other agencies, such as prescribed burns and forest thinning or fuel reduction, help reduce the severity of natural wildfires if and when it reaches that area. This helps increase the likelihood fires that start on public lands can be contained quickly and successfully protecting any structures that may be in nearby WUIs. Current management practices frame “the WUI fire disaster as a wildfire control problem, instead of focusing on the susceptibility of structures to the inevitability of wildfire exposure” (Calkin et al, 2014, p. 747). Increasing the ineffectiveness of current practices is the fact that most areas treated are “greater than 10 km from the interface WUI” (Schoennagel et al., 2009, p. 10706). This leaves large swaths of land adjacent to WUIs untreated and potential flash points for fires. Looking inside the WUI, “only 3% of the total area treated across the 11 western states was within the WUI” (Schoennagel et al., 2009, p. 10706). Since 70% of the WUI is privately owned, their study shows that there is a very large area of land not being treated and represents a “vexing problem” of reducing fire risk within the mostly privately owned WUI (Schoennagel et al., 2009, p. 10710).
Private land mitigation is the key to structural safety
As Scheoennagel et al. (2009) concluded, the ability of federal agencies to implement fire reduction treatments near and within WUI communities is limited, suggesting a different strategy for treatment must be found. Responding to wildfires and treating wildland fuels on public lands do not address the issue of the “susceptibility of homes to ignition and subsequent destruction”
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(Calkin et al., 2014, p. 747). Calkin et al. (2014) suggest instead that the “primary responsibility for preventing WUI home destruction lies with homeowners” (p. 747).
Residents must focus on the reduction of hazardous fuel loads, like bushes, tree limbs, and other flammable debris around their structures thus mitigating the HIZ. Calkin et al. (2014) found “mitigation of the HIZ is the most cost-effective investment for reducing home destruction” (p. 750). However, a large majority of homeowners cannot, or will not, mitigate their homes even though the benefits in doing so are real and vital to the community’s successful defense of wildfire destruction.
Benefits to private property mitigation
Schoennagel et al. (2009) state that “fire-proofing houses and their immediate surroundings should provide the most direct and effective wildfire protection of homes and communities in the WUI” (p. 10710). Calklin et al. (2014) concluded “proper care of the HIZ separates home losses from wildland fire behavior, regardless of the other elements of wildfire risk (fire behavior and its likelihood)” (p. 750). Rather than relying on treatment of public lands to provide sole protection of their homes, residents need to focus on treatment of their homes, structures and land. Each property that mitigates reduces the chance fires will ignite and spread from structure to structure thus lowering the risk of wildfire destruction to the whole community.
Reasons why residents may resist recommendations to mitigate
Studies have found some common reasons residents do not prepare their homes against the threat of wildfire such as lifestyle priorities, perceived risk, property location, and previous experience of fire (Penman et al., 2016, p. 94). The study of two approaches of wildfire mitigation in Canada by Labossiere and McGee (2016) found they “faced opposition from
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residents about removing tress for wildfire mitigation efforts due to their aesthetic values and the perceived privacy they provided” (p. 207). Penman et al. (2016) found many residents do not consider the risk to their property to be severe enough and Brenkert-Smith and Champ (2012) found “respondents who did not think their property was at risk of wildfire had lower levels of mitigation” (p. 1146).
Studies have also shown that a lack of funding and public support easily derail any hazard mitigation plans. While comparing two counties mitigation behaviors, Brenkert-Smith et al. (2012) found that a “lack of funds to undertake wildfire risk-mitigation actions appears to be a constant” (p. 1149). Since the average cost to prepare a home is close to $10,000, providing funds to do so is likely to motivate a homeowner to act. Other factors associated with funding include the value a resident may place on their property and if they even desire to protect it. If mitigation costs a certain amount but the resident does not value his/her property enough to make that investment or they have already made the decision to write it off as a loss, then they are less likely to take any mitigation action even at the expenses of their neighbor’s property.
There is also a lack of public trust between residents of the WUI and their local government or agency. The foundation for this distrust can be rooted in communications between residents and the local agencies. Remenick (2016) found that poor communication can minimize the residents’ understanding of the agency’s efforts as well as minimize the agency’s understanding of what solution will fit its communities. For an agency to successfully partner with its residents, it must figure out a way to demonstrate the real risk of wildfire, provide new methods to support and implement mitigation activities, and build trust with its residents so that they know the government, in this case at least, aims to help.
Perceived risk needs to be real
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The common theme to successful implementation of any mitigation effort on private lands is to demonstrate the real risk of wildfires to homeowners. “Homeowners who perceived higher levels of wildfire risk on their property had undertaken higher levels of wildfire-risk mitigation on their property” (Brenkert-Smith et al., 2012, p. 1139). Other research supports this finding as well, “better information about wildfire risk can motivate landowners to undertake risk mitigation measures and to become effective stewards of their land” (Mozumder, Helton and Berrens, 2009, p. 1597). “Effective outreach programs can increase public understanding of wildfire risk and encourage mitigation by residents” (Koebele, Crow, Lawhon, Kroespsch, & Schild, 2015, p. 919). Residents do not know what they do not know but as each WUI community is different, so should the method of delivering the educational resources.
Methods found to be successful to change perceptions of risk included providing tailored information regarding the risk to specific parcels, developing personalized mitigation recommendations, and distributing wildfire risk maps for the community all aimed at “heightening community awareness of wildfire risks and promoting implementation of fire mitigation measures” (Schoennagel et al., 2009, p. 10710). While there have been many educational mailers, flyers, websites, posters, and pamphlets distributed all over the country, Koeble et al. (2015) found that WUI residents favored “interactive outreach approaches” over one-way information exchanges. This finding helps support the priority that needs to be given to personal interactions with the residents instead of static brochures.
Building social capital and trust strengthens efforts
Koeble et al. (2015) found that there was a strong, positive relationship between mitigation activity when information was passed between neighbors or at community groups due to the personal process of disseminating information. Labossiere and McGee (2017) identified
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social capital as another factor positively influencing wildfire mitigation efforts and that the best issue champions were local park department technicians and the fire chief. A study by Brenkert-Smith et al. (2012) showed that “wildfire information received from local volunteer fire departments and county wildfire specialists, as well as talking with neighbors about wildfire, were positively associated with higher levels of mitigation” (p. 1139). Conversely, they found that media as a source of information did not contribute to any levels of mitigation.
Crow et al. (year) found that of many methods currently being utilized for mitigation outreach, face-to-face contact is perceived as the most effective by wildfire management professionals while community events and public meetings follow closely behind. However, while meetings and events are common techniques used, they are found to have little participation by the target audiences. One-on-one meetings provide opportunities to share tailored wildfire information and stress the importance of wildfire mitigation. Once residents understand the wildfire risk and support the mitigation efforts, they may become advocates and active partners for future efforts setting up the potential for a snowball of supporters.
The use of citizen entrepreneurs to help with direct interaction can foster and strengthen the social capital that is critical to promoting wildfire mitigation (Koebele et al., 2015). Citizen entrepreneurs are motivated citizens who can support the local agency to plan mitigation activities, provide outreach, help with implementation and be the face of the effort rather than an agency spokesperson. The citizen entrepreneur can thus augment government agencies at many intersections of mitigation and resident crossroads and help the communities feel empowered instead of regulated.
Building trust between the residents and local agency is critical to promoting and implementing any mitigation activities. If citizen entrepreneurs cannot be found, the agency must
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take special care to build trust and bridge gaps at the very start of the process. Crow, Lawhon, Koebele, Kroepsch, Schild, and Huda (2015) found that building trust could be the key to gamering support for the fire professionals who are responsible for the education and planning of mitigation activities for the residents. This will allow them to overcome barriers of distrust found by many government agencies when they are attempting to influence communities to act.
Overcoming resource challenges requires new methods
The investment of time and money for mitigation activities is a constant challenge when attempting to promote mitigation activities. It is the easiest excuse for a resident to make when it comes to deciding how and if to mitigate their property. Penman et al. ((2016) suggest “financial incentives may assist in the community adoption of these measures and reduce risk” (p. 94). The use of grants, insurance rebates, and partnerships between residents and local businesses could help offset the costs of mitigation. For example, Larry Brown, a neighborhood ambassador for Firewise of Southwest Colorado, partnered with the Rotary Club of Durango Daybreak to lead an effort to create a fuel break below his community and donated the wood to the Rotary to provide to homes in need (Wildfire Mitigation through Partnerships). This connection between mitigation and charity helped him partner with his Home Owner Associations (HOA), other residents along the proposed fuel break, and local businesses who helped haul the wood to the charity (Wildfire Mitigation through Partnerships). While the perceived risk of the property is still a powerful driver in the decision to mitigation, alleviating cost, or even making them more tolerable, could make the decision much easier.
Gaps in current literature
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There was no research that compared the types of mitigation activities residents can do and the level of difficulty associated with it. There is also no research on how to overcome age or ability limitations when it comes to mitigation on private property. There was also little mentioned as to how to overcome the inconvenience of mitigation felt by WUI residents. This study aims to identify strategies to reduce the difficulties residents face when attempting to mitigation their property.
This literature review looked at the growing threat of wildfires to WUI communities, how the focus is moving towards private land mitigation, a discussion of the benefits for and hesitation by private residents to mitigate, and how increased education, social interaction, and creative new ways to partner with the communities are needed to have effective mitigation programs in the WUI. This paper attempts to identify whether findings in other research are applicable to the residents of the LFRPD WUI and answer some of the gaps in the research such how to approach mitigation in achievable chunks, what programs could be available to assist residents to mitigate, and how to make mitigation seem less of a nuisance and more of a necessity.
Methodology
To address the gaps identified in the literature, and to assist the LFRA develop strategies to overcome challenges of gaining homeowner support and foster partnerships, three research questions guide the research process.
1. How should the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority (LFRA) approach residents within the Loveland Rural Fire Protection District (LRFPD) wildland-urban interface (WUI) in a manner that will foster successful partnerships?
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2. What challenges of wildfire mitigation actions need to be overcome to support residents?
3. What role should Loveland Fire Rescue Authority (LFRA) take as it pertains to performing mitigation activities?
Measurement and Data Collection
To answer the research questions, an interview method by means of phenomenology research design is used to understand resident’s perspectives, perceptions, and understandings of the difficulty of achieving community wide wildfire mitigation of private property. A focus was given to experiences that center around successful and/or unsuccessful partnerships with residents regarding willingness to mitigate on their properties. Interviews were conducted with wildfire, wildland, and emergency management professionals to help examine their experience on past and present partnerships with WUI residents. A focus group consisting of WUI residents was used to examine their experience on past and present partnerships with local agencies and discuss themes and findings identified during the interviews. During both interviews and the focus group, new ideas for cooperative partnerships were solicited and captured as possible recommendations for the LFRA to consider.
Sampling Plan
Subjects for the professional interviews were identified at first by the client and then by those that were interviewed in a snowball design. Six professionals were interviewed. They hailed from Boulder County, the City of Loveland, and Larimer County (Appendix F). Criteria included those that have direct responsibility regarding wildfire activities with WUI communities along the Front Range of Colorado. An interview questionnaire (Appendix B) was used to conduct the interview and responses were recorded on the interviewers copy.
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Six participants self-selected into the focus group which was held on March 14, 2018 and represented WUI Communities with the foothills of Larimer County (Appendix G). To garner participation in the focus group, the event was advertised through local activism groups, social media platforms, and local agencies. Participants volunteered to attend and a sign in sheet was used to capture their attendance. Residents who participated in the focus group were all supportive of mitigation skewing the responses to pro-mitigation. A focus group questionnaire was used to conduct the interview and responses were recorded on the interviewers copy.
Validity and Reliability
To ensure validity of the research results, multiple methods of data gathering were selected, and differing viewpoints were solicitated to allow for a comparison of similarities and differences to ensure different perspectives were represented (Noble & Smith, 2015). To be sure the interview and focus group questions measure the responses needed to answer the research questions, interview coding categories (Appendix A) were created the matching interview questions with the appropriate research question. Each interview utilized an interview script (Appendix B) so that the gathering of responses was done in a consistent manner. Interviewees were also granted the opportunity to view the interview transcript and provide comments on themes and concepts captured to ensure the accuracy of their responses.
Data Analysis
Interviews were designed to gather participant perspectives surrounding the phenomenon of resident wildfire mitigation participation challenges based on experiences and/or knowledge of past efforts. The interviews also allowed for opinions to be expresses as well as ideas to be collected. Coding categories were developed based on the research questions and responses were
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classified into categories so that themes could be identified, and any key opinions or ideas could be highlighted. The themes include approaches to successful partnerships, attractive mitigation activities, and the role of local government.
The same interview questions were used as the basis of the focus group discussion in order to compare professional responses with citizen responses. However, the themes and potential recommendations found in the professional interviews were also discussed during the focus group, for participants review and response. The focus group responses and discussion were placed into a results matrix so, like the interviews, key themes, opinions, and ideas could be highlights. The themes included....
Once the interviews and focus groups were concluded, the data collected were combined with findings identified from the literature and interpreted into responses to the research questions and recommendations to LFRA.
Findings and Results
In general, the professionals and focus group participants agreed that the level of perceived risk of wildfires by the WUI communities was medium to medium-high. The warm winters, beetle kill, and more regularity of wildfires has left residents with little doubt they live in an area at risk to wildfires. Both the professionals and focus group participants agreed there was a higher motivation level to mitigate when residents felt the risk of wildfire was real and rises sharply whenever there is a local fire along the front range of Colorado.
“It has to be both.” (Resident)
Discussing whether the focus of mitigation should be on private or public lands resulted in the professionals leaning towards focusing on public lands and the focus group leaning
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towards both. Public lands are “easier to access and allow for larger mitigation operations”, such as prescribed bums (Professional). They also have an established land management culture and are publicly funded, but that may be changing with the increased frequency of fires. “Since the fire service is spending more on response these days, that means less for public land mitigation” (Professional). It is easier to mitigate public land and respondents supported continued efforts even if a shift of strategy focuses on private lands. While private is more complicated due to myopic tendencies and less structure within the communities, it was agreed that mitigation cannot happen on just one or the other. Any efforts on private land should also see efforts on neighboring public land. “It doesn’t do any good if either is mitigated and the other is not” (Resident).
There was an acknowledgement from the professionals that since all the high dollar fire loss are usually private community structures, focus on private land mitigation must be a priority. The risk is growing for the resident and so is the responsibility for them to mitigate. “If you are a responsible property owner, what do I do to keep it for my future generations” (Resident)?
“Everybody does what they can” (Resident)
Financial challenges were the number one issue brought up as reasons why residents do not mitigate. “It's expensive and certainly more than one realizes when they embark on mitigation efforts” (Resident). If the government were to provide funding, there needs to be low bureaucracy so that a resident will not just give up during the process. One focus group participant mentioned the funding cannot come with a restriction that it is only available if all residents participate. Since there are known residents that absolutely will not participate, this would be an unfair requirement. While some residents have the money to pay for mitigation efforts on their property, they simply choose not to. Some residents have accepted the risk and
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have chosen to evacuate, consider the home a loss, and recoup from their insurance. To counter this, insurance companies could be leveraged to motivate residents to mitigate through penalties or incentives. “One group that can require something and tie it to dollars is insurance companies” (Professional).
Residents and professionals agree that many residents lack the physical capability or experience performing the tasks required to mitigate their property. “They don’t have the knowledge or skills if they just started living in a mountain home” (Resident). Residents feel overwhelmed with the size and scope of what is required and tend to lead toward inaction. “I’m beginning to understand what my parents were trying to do now and can see why it was too much for them to accomplish” (Resident). The professionals described residents as wanting to receive information and the focus group participants identified needs for the government to make the process easy for them to use. Residents want places to go for education, tools, and resources so they can do the mitigation themselves. Even the focus group participant who owned a chipper and just converted 50 acres from forest to pasture understood the difficulties expressed by his neighbors. “Residents focus on the big things and get lost in the overall process” (Professional).
Time also plays a factor as it takes a large investment of it to identify what needs to be done, figure out how to do it, find contractors or others to help, conduct the mitigation, and then dispose of the debris when done. “I did not move up here to be a landscaper” (Professional). Maintaining a HIZ is not a one and done effort and requires regular upkeep for as long as the resident resides in the WUI.
“They like their trees.” (Professional)
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While most understand about mitigation there are distinct vocal minorities on the debate regarding how mitigation may or may not ruin the landscape, nature, and beauty of the WUI. Demographics and attitudes differ greatly from community to community as well as types of residents ranging from permanent, vacationer, or simply new to the area which all can impact the understanding and priority given to mitigation. Focus group participants did not mention aesthetics as a limitation but the professionals did. “Cleaning up the property is good for the wildlife” (Resident). The professionals mentioned that residents they have encountered did not want to mitigate for fear of disturbing the vegetation, ruining their view, or upsetting the natural environment they move there to be in.
“Spread the word.” (Professional)
To educate and motivate residents, face-to-face interaction appears to be the most desired and seen as making the most impact. Everybody who participated cited get-togethers, events, and community gatherings are a great place to start interest, but the lasting impact of these meetings is usually low. “Start at pre-existing events or community groups and clubs... then perform site inspections to provide improvement suggestions” (Professional). Site visits and home evaluations are critical to the mitigation planning process. “Classroom introductions but the payoff is site visitations” (Professional). Both professionals and focus group participants agreed that government representatives are not the best spokesperson for these meetings. Instead, many recommended community trusted agents like the local fire chief, community leaders, HOAs, and other local coalitions or groups to lead the discussions.
Another popular method of communicating with the WUI community is word of mouth or grass roots efforts. These one-on-one interactions with neighbors and trusted agents will help grow the interest and trust in the effort. “Take advantage of the few that ask about mitigation, so
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they may spread the word to their neighbors” (Professional). When information is presented to the residents, some factors are more effective such as providing advice instead of regulations and being shown the return on investments. Other sources such as websites, social media, newsletters, and emails are all viable options but should be used to support the direct interaction going on in the communities. “We found out about this project through small group list and think that and community newsletters and publications work well” (Resident).
“Integrate with the community.” (Resident)
Careful partnership with the local government is seen by respondents as critical to the mitigation effort. “Dictating what the residents need to do is an easy way to turn people off the effort” (Professional). Residents want to feel as if they have been listened to and are part of the process of formulating a mitigation strategy. “We have to listen to the community and not give them a cookie cutter solution” (Professional). Residents want choices that will fit their specific situation and not generic diagrams or strategies. “Offer places to go for education, tools, and resources so we can do it ourselves” (Resident). Both the professionals and the focus group participants want to see continued support beyond the initial mitigation effort. “Must have continued support... and ensure a follow-up program” (Professional). Setting a common understanding of what is going to be done as well as understanding what is available is important from a resident perspective. “Failure to communicate all the available services would result in wasted effort” (Resident).
Discussion and Recommendations
Residents are more and more aware of the risks of wildfire facing them as residents of the WUI. As the fire seasons grow longer and the threat of wildfires is better understood by WUI
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residents, they are becoming more acceptable of taking mitigation steps that will reduce wildfire risk to their property. However, just because there is now a willingness to mitigate, there are still challenges to overcome.
R1 - How should the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority (LFRA) approach residents within the Loveland Rural Fire Protection District (LRFPD) wildland-urban interface (WUI) in a manner that will foster successful partnerships?
The findings in this research identified the diverse makeup of residents within the WUI. This diversity, ranging experience, and vast difference of motivation is something that must be explored by the LFRA by integrating with each community, so it can engage, elicit participation, listen to the residents, and gain an understanding of what needs to be addressed in a mitigation strategy. Residents do not want generic programs, they do not want to be dictated what they must do, and they want to be part of the discussion. Community meetings, educational forums, and mitigation promotion events are great ways to start a conversation and should be followed up with face-to face interaction and site visits. The LFRA should not be the spokesperson when possible and leverage trusted agents and/or coalitions to help promote the programs. As a plan is developed based on residents input, it needs to provide advice instead of regulations, account for the landscape that has drawn many to live in the WUI and be phased in such a way residents are comfortable taking small steps and avoid being overwhelmed. Engaging residents provides the opportunity to understand their specific time and ability challenges so that when a mitigation plan is provided to them, it will include options that will overcome their challenges and make mitigation seem achievable.
R2 - What challenges of wildfire mitigation actions need to be overcome to support residents?
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Residents are more likely to participate if the LFRA can somehow support them with funding, training, and other resources associated with mitigation. Focusing on making it easier to mitigate will foster more involvement of residents by suppressing the overwhelming feeling of the task. Financial support can be found through grants, local tax breaks, or working with the insurance industry to offer discounts if residents mitigate to some standard. By providing resources to find contractors or other labor expertise, the LFRA can help the residents save time finding the help they need. By providing education, tools, training to teach the residents how to mitigate their properties, the LFRA can develop the capability of each resident to mitigate their property today and for the future.
R3 - What role should Loveland Fire Rescue Authority (LFRA) take as it pertains to performing mitigation activities?
The LFRA needs to be seen as a partner and not as another government entity telling a resident what to do. Residents want to be heard when it comes to offering solutions to them and they do not want to be dictated to. The LFRA needs to be the conduit that makes it easier for the resident to mitigate their property by collecting the needs of the residents and finding the correct resources. The LFRA should be a silent partner as much as possible only stepping into the process when requested or required. By offering choices and places to go for help, they will empower the residents to take care of their own properties. With the support of follow-up programs, the LFRA can help new residents and continue to strengthen the resiliency of the communities against wildfire.
Recommendations
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1. The LFRA should develop a stakeholder group to help foster partnership in the development of the mitigation program.
Creating a citizen advisory board to work with the LFRA could help ensure citizen concerns are heard and part of the program development process. Rather than just seeking feedback during meetings or online, it “may be more efficient and useful for managers to create an advisory committee of concerned citizens from nearby neighborhoods, local government and fire officials, environmental groups, recreation groups, and business leaders” (Ryan & Wamsley, 2006, p. 13). An advisory committee will help allow representation of the many different perspectives of each resident and community and create partnerships that can assist with making the mitigation process easier. Most importantly, fostering citizen buy in to the process will give it validity and yield more participation by residents helping meet a goal of community wide mitigation.
2. The LFRA should reach out to the major insurance brokers used in the WUI to establish a certificate of mitigation compliance to provide discounts to the residents.
Insurance companies are having to pay out more and more claims associated with wildfires, so they may see an opportunity to offer discounts in hopes of growing wildfire mitigation activities. One company, USAA, is “providing discounts to their policyholders that reside in Firewise communities in selected states” and can be used as a starting point for exploring options (Berry, Deaton, & Steinberg, 2016, p. 196). Insurance companies may also be able to work in discounts with companies that specialize in wildfire mitigation could provide financial relief in the long term and have more influence on property owner’s decisions based on the cost of coverage.
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3. The LFRA should develop a wide variety of options that can be used to relieve the challenges time and ability for each resident.
By providing homeowner assistance, the LFRA can overcome the challenges residents face when deciding whether or not to mitigate their home. A survey conducted in 2005 of 56 municipalities within the continental US showed that 47 provided some sort of assistance. The types of service provided consisted of “home inspections, free prescriptions, and cost-share or free clearing and chipping or disposal of debris” (Reams, Haines, Renner, Wascom, & Kingre, 2005, p. 822). Professionals and resident’s interviews recommended similar services such as convenient slash piles, free days at the landfill, support finding labor from local universities/organizations that need community service, cost sharing, labor incentives and even free leaf blowers for each home to help clearing debris on a regular basis. Each of these suggestions would make the task of mitigation easier and more likely to be conducted.
4. Empower residents to make their own decisions and actions for ongoing mitigation.
The LFRA should offer workshops and support that residents can use to learn how to mitigate and enable them to continue the process for years to come. Some options could include recommended contractors, opportunities to develop the skills needed to mitigate, equipment purchase or rental, support to find labor, convenient means of easy removal of material year-round, and even the option to have the work managed by a 3rd party vendor. Another option is to bring programs like Australia’s Community Fireguard which encourages education, participation and empowerment of residents “living in high-fire risk areas, taking responsibility for their own fire safety and working together to devise survival strategies that suit their particular situation” (Boura, 1998, p. 60).
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Limitations of this study
Sam Bogan
This study only included seven professionals for interviews and five residents for the focus group. This is not a great sample of the 200+ professionals in the region of the LFRA or the 2000+ property owners in the Loveland WUI area. Also, as expected, all focus group participants were pro-mitigation so that must be accounted for in the findings. This study did not capture first hand anti-mitigation opinions. If LFRA creates a citizen advisory board as part of its program planning process, the limitations of this study will be resolved.
Conclusion
While there are outliers, this study found that most residents do want to mitigate against wildfires but simply lack the funding, time, or ability to do so. They see it overwhelming and inconvenient given other priorities in their lives. It is not a matter of desire but a matter of capability that keeps most residents from taking action. A successful strategy for gaining support for wildfire mitigation in the Loveland WUI is to attack the overwhelming nature of mitigation and provides the residents with manageable tasks and resources. To do this, the LFRA should develop an advisory board to participate in the development of the mitigation program, work with insurance brokers to establish discounts for mitigation, develop resources to relieve the challenges time and ability present to residents, and empower residents to continue mitigation activities into the future. By focusing on the specific needs of residents and providing various options aimed at making it as easy as possible for a them to mitigate their property, the LFRA will find a higher rate of participation and grow a long-lasting partnership with their WUI residents.
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References
Berry, F.; Deaton, L.; Steinberg, M. (2016). Firewise: The value of voluntary action and standard approaches to reducing wildfire risk. Arizona State Law Journal 48(1), 181-203.
Boura, J. (1998). Community Fireguard: creating partnerships with the community to minimise the impact of bushfire. Australian Journal of Emergency Management, The, 13(3), 59.
Brenkert-Smith, H., Champ, P. A., & Flores, N. (2012). Trying not to get burned: understanding homeowners' wildfire risk-mitigation behaviors. Environmental Management, 50(6), 1139-1151. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/LhuiSA.
Calkin, D. E., Cohen, J. D., Finney, M. A., & Thompson, M. P. (2014). How risk management can prevent future wildfire disasters in the wildland-urban interface. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(2), 746-751. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/HwOTPu.
Cohen, J. (2008). The wildland-urban interface fire problem: A consequence of the fire exclusion paradigm. [Electronic Version], Forest History! Today. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/ucgicm.
Crow, D. A., Berggren, J., Lawhon, L. A., Koebele, E. A., Kroepsch, A., & Huda, J. (2016). Local media coverage of wildfire disasters: An analysis of problems and solutions in policy narratives.
Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 1-23.
Crow, D. A., Lawhon, L. A., Koebele, E., Kroepsch, A., Schild, R., & Huda, J. (2015). Information, Resources, and Management Priorities: Agency Outreach and Mitigation of Wildfire Risk in the Western United States. Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy, 6(1), 69-90.
Fire Rescue. City of Loveland. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/tptSu9
History of Loveland. Loveland Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/H2Vfz7.
Koebele, E., Crow, D. A., Lawhon, L. A., Kroepsch, A., Schild, R., & Clifford, K. (2015). Wildfire Outreach and Citizen Entrepreneurs in the Wildland-Urban Interface: A Cross-Case Analysis in Colorado. Society & Natural Resources, 28(8), 918-923.
Kroepsch, A., Koebele, E. A., Crow, D. A., Berggren, J., Huda, J., & Lawhon, L. A. (2017).
Remembering the Past, Anticipating the Future: Community Learning and Adaptation Discourse in Media Commemorations of Catastrophic Wildfires in Colorado. Environmental Communication, 1-16.
Labossiere, L. M., & McGee, T. K. (2017). Innovative wildfire mitigation by municipal governments: Two case studies in Western Canada. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 22, 204-210. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/g6c3dJ.
Marotti, A. (2013, June 21). Fire mitigation measures saved some Black Forest homes. The Denver Post. Retrieved from http://goo.gl/rM6Q0c.
Mozumder, P., Helton, R., & Berrens, R. P. (2009). Provision of a wildfire risk map: informing residents in the wildland urban interface. Risk analysis, 29(11), 1588-1600. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/ROWPQg.
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Noble, H., & Smith, J. (2015). Issues of validity and reliability in qualitative research. Evidence-Based Nursing, ebnurs-2015.
Penman, T. D., Eriksen, C. E., Horsey, B., & Bradstock, R. A. (2016). How much does it cost residents to prepare their property for wildfire?. International journal of disaster risk reduction, 16, 88-98. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/vS33UG.
Radeloff, V. C., Hammer, R. B., Stewart, S. I., Fried, J. S., Holcomb, S. S., & McKeefry, J. F. (2005).
The wildland-urban interface in the United States. Ecological applications, 15(3), 799-805.
Reams, M. A., Haines, T. K., Renner, C. R., Wascom, M. W., & Kingre, H. (2005). Goals, obstacles and effective strategies of wildfire mitigation programs in the wildland-urban interface. Forest policy and economics, 7(5), 818-826.
Remenick, L. (2017). The Role of Communication in Preparation for Wildland Fire: A Fiterature Review. Environmental Communication, 1-13. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/egx4mE.
Ryan, R. F., & Wamsley, M. B. (2006). Perceptions of wildfire threat and mitigation measures by residents of fire-prone communities in the Northeast: survey results and wildland fire management implications. Retrieved from https://qoo.ql/3qZAeD.
Schoennagel, T., Nelson, C. R., Theobald, D. M., Camwath, G. C., & Chapman, T. B. (2009).
Implementation of National Fire Plan treatments near the wildland-urban interface in the western United States. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(26), 10706-10711. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/qxdcgi.
Wells, G, (2014, February 9). Wildfire professionals share insight into Black Forest fire and importance of mitigation. The Gazette. Retrieved from http://goo. gl/nTPi 17.
Wildfire Mitigation through Partnerships: Southwest Colorado Success Story. Fire Adapted Communities. Retrieved from https://qoo.ql/k67kKz.
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Appendix A - Interview Coding Categories
Background Infarmation How should the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority (LFRA) approach private land owners within the Loveland Rural Fire Protection District (LRFPD) wildland-urban interface (WUI) in a manner that will foster successful partnerships What wildfire mitigation actions might be most attractive and well received by private land owners? What role should Loveland Fire Rescue Authority (LFRA) take as it pertains to performing mitigation activities?
What is your role and responsibility regarding wildland fire management? X
What do you see as the majority viewpoint on wildfire mitigation? X X
Is it different for public vs private property? X
Where do you feel the majority of wildfire mitigation takes place? X
Do you feel the focus of wildfire mitigation should be on private lands? X
What is your expenence with mitigation efforts of private land owners? X
What do you feel motivates a private land owner to mitigate their property? X
What do you feel limits a private land owner from mitigating their property? X
Who do you feel fits the role of “mitigation champion” in the wildland-urban interfaces within your area of responsibility? X X
What do you feel is the best method of communication to the wildland-urban interface communities? X
What have you seen as effective and/or trusted methods of delivery for educational resources? X X
If the local government was to provide funding for mitigation, what do you feel would be the top three keys to a successful partnership with the private land owners? X X X
What missteps do you feel could be detrimental to the partnerships? X X X
On a scale of 1 - 10 (1 = lowest and 10 = highest), how would you explain the current level of private landowner perceived risk of wildfires? X
On a scale of 1 - 10 (1 = lowest and 10 = highest), what is the average priority given to wildfire mitigation by private land owners? X
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Appendix B - Interview Script
Name of Interviewee Title of Interviewee Date of Interview Contact Information Background Introduction:
1. Introduce interviewer and context for involvement
2. Ensure accuracy- note interviewee will have opportunity to review notes for accuracy to allow for honesty during interview
3. Explain the purpose of the interview and its connection to the project
1. What is your role and responsibility regarding wildland fire management?
2. What do you see as the majority viewpoint on wildfire mitigation?
3. Is it different for public vs private property?
4. Where do you feel the majority of wildfire mitigation takes place?
5. Do you feel the focus of wildfire mitigation should be on private lands?
6. What is your experience with mitigation efforts of residents?
7. What do you feel motivates a resident to mitigate their property?
8. What do you feel limits a resident from mitigating their property?
9. Who do you feel fits the role of “mitigation champion” in the wildland-urban interfaces within your area of responsibility?
10. What do you feel is the best method of communication to the wildland-urban interface communities?
11. What have you seen as effective and/or trusted methods of delivery for educational resources?
12. If the local government was to provide funding for mitigation, what do you feel would be the top three keys to a successful partnership with the residents?
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13. What missteps do you feel could be detrimental to the partnerships?
14. On a scale of 1 - 10 (1 = lowest and 10 = highest), how would you explain the current level of private landowner perceived risk of wildfires?
15. On a scale of 1 - 10 (1 = lowest and 10 = highest), what is the average priority given to wildfire mitigation by residents?
16. Any final thoughts you would like to add?
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Appendix C - Focus Group Script
Date of Focus Group
Contact Information
Background Introduction:
1. Introduce focus group leader and context for involvement
a. I am a student with the University of Colorado Denver and sponsored by Loveland Fire and Rescue Authority to conduct a research project aimed at finding a wildfire mitigation strategy that your community can get behind. Wildfire mitigation includes actions taken to protect lives and property from the dangers of wildfires. Your opinion on wildfire mitigation matters. Larimer County and the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority are seeking volunteers to discuss their good and bad experiences with efforts to mitigate private property against wildfire. We are looking for opinions from those of you that live in the rural, mountainous, or wooded areas of Larimer County regarding what has worked well for you and your neighbors, what challenges you face, and what ideas you have that the community can get behind.
b. This project is not about the actual mitigation actions or programs to follow
c. This project is about
i. How best to communicate with the community in order to garner interest
ii. How best to package/offer potential resources to increase participation
iii. How to foster a partnership with local agencies and communities
2. Ensure accuracy- request approval to record session for review later
3. Request all participants sign in and ensure them names will not be used in paper, only to contact afterwards to provide a copy
4. Explain the purpose of the focus group and its connection to the project
a. I have interviewed agency representatives to get their responses to some of these questions and to also provide a few ideas to present to this group
b. Your responses will provide me with another side to the story
1. How do you feel about wildfire mitigation?
2. Where do you feel the majority of wildfire mitigation takes place?
3. Do you feel the focus of wildfire mitigation should be on private or public lands?
4. What is your experience with mitigation efforts on your land? Neighbors land? Community
land?
5. What do you feel motivates you, as a resident, to mitigate your property?
6. What do you feel limits you, as a resident, from mitigating your property?
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7. What do you feel is the best method of communication to your communities?
8. What have you seen as effective and/or trusted methods of delivery for educational resources?
9. Setting cost aside, what do you feel would be the top three keys to a successful partnership between the community you live in and the local government for the purposes of the mitigation of your community?
10. What missteps do you feel could be detrimental to the partnerships?
11. On a scale ofl-10(l = lowest and 10 = highest), how would you explain the current level of your communities perceived risk of wildfires?
12. On a scale of 1 - 10 (1 = lowest and 10 = highest), what is the average priority given to wildfire mitigation by your community?
13. Any final thoughts you would like to add?
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Appendix D - Loveland Fire Rescue Authority District
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Wildfire Mitigation:
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Sam Bogan
Appendix E - Focus Group Solicitation
Be confident that what you do in your forest will improve it's health and sustainability for future generations. Become a Tree Farmer!
Tree Farmer Alert Monday, March 12, 2018 Over 800 readers and growing!
Wildfire Mitigation Strategies contributed by Sam Bogan
Emergency Communications Coordinator CU Boulder Emergency Management
I am a student with the University of Colorado Denver and sponsored by Loveland Fire and Rescue Authority to conduct a research project aimed at finding a wildfire mitigation strategy that your community can get behind. Wildfire mitigation includes actions taken to protect lives and property from the dangers of wildfires. Your opinion on wildfire mitigation matters. Larimer County and the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority are seeking volunteers to discuss their good and bad experiences with efforts to mitigate private property against wildfire. We are looking for opinions from those of you that live in the rural, mountainous, or wooded areas of Larimer County regarding what has worked well for you and your neighbors, what challenges you face, and what ideas you have that the community can get behind. The meeting will be about 1 hour.
Wednesday March 14th
7-8pm
Loveland Library
300 N Adams Ave, Loveland, CO 80537 Erion Room
Your RSVP is not needed, and a small complimentary gift will be given to each household in
attendance.
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Wildfire Mitigation:
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Sam Bogan
Brian Oliver
Appendix F - Interview Participants
Wildfire Operations Manager City of Boulder
David Zader
Wildland Fire Administrator City of Boulder
Jason Goodale Captain, Loveland Fire City of Loveland
Mike Chard
Director, Office of Emergency Management Boulder County / City of Boulder
Robert Carmosino Captain, Loveland Fire City of Loveland
Shayle Nelson
Emergency Management Specialist Larimer County
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Overcoming the Overwhelming Appendix G - Joseph Turner Linda Dellmar Pete Koechley Shayna Jones Shayle Nelson Mike Salaz - Focus Group Participants
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Wildfire Mitigation:
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Sam Bogan
Appendix H - Supplemental Documentation
Competencies, Knowledge and Skills Gained from My MPA
I started my position at the University of Colorado Boulder and found quickly that I am a
public servant who would be challenged to improve university policies and procedures to improve the safety of its diverse community of students and employees. As such, I focused my masters program and courses on exploring that responsibility and finding new ways to tackle that challenge based on academics and add to my experience. This capstone project has allowed me to take many of the competencies I have been exposed to, studied, and incorporated into my classwork over the years and combine them all into one undertaking.
It became apparent that I would be relying on three competencies while I worked on my capstone to help recommend a strategy of partnership between the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority and the residents they serve to protect regarding fire mitigation of private property. First, this project allowed me to participate and contribute to the City of Loveland’s public policy process. Next, it provided me the opportunity to analyze, synthesize, solve problems, and make recommendations that may help the LFRA on future initiatives. Finally, it required me to get out from behind the desk to communicate and interact with members of the Loveland Rural Fire Protection District workforce and its citizenry.
By allowing me to work on this project, the LFRA has brought me into their public policy process where I have been able to better understand the challenges of creating policy for a diverse group of residents, those that live in the wildland-urban interface (WUI). Specifically, I was able to participate in the public policy process of developing a wildland mitigation program to help protect privately owned structures and property. Two of my courses, Introduction to Public Administration and Intergovernmental Management helped prepare me for understanding
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the context regarding the City of Loveland’s responsibility to its WUI citizens and the connection between the LFRA and its administration at the local level. For example, Federal fire mitigation can only go so far leaving the state and local governments to pick up where it cannot go, private property. My Policy Process course allowed me to look at different policies during my research and identify opportunities that may work for the City of Loveland. Lastly, my Organizational Management and Behavior course gave me tools, such as how to discuss change and difficult situations with an organizations best interest at heart, to engage the professionals and residents I met with.
Every course but one during my five-year path to graduation has provided me with ample opportunity to analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems, make decisions, stress out, and stay up late at night when I really didn’t want to by way of research papers, literature reviews, presentations, and other projects. In Law of All Hazards Emergency Management, I had to write my first real paper since college which required me to relearn how to research, collect data from different sources and perspectives, pull it all together to accurately represent the case I was trying to justify, and most importantly... cite peer reviewed articles. Conducting my first literature review for Introduction to Public Administration helped prepare me to find and apply different perspectives and research on a topic in order to develop my own policy and/or management alternatives to the subject. Writing my paper “Emergency Notification: Is it a Pathway for Liability?” for Law of All-Hazards Emergency Management gave me an opportunity to dive into my job, of managing the emergency notification tools for the university, to identify and prepare the ethical conflicts I may face. Of course, my Research and Analytical Methods course gave me a great base of knowledge of quantitative and qualitative designs that
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helped me immensely when I started to figure out how I would approach the problem presented to me by the LFRA.
This project could not have been completed without interaction with citizens of the LFRA who are experiencing change regarding responsibly of wildfire mitigation. Both my Organizational Management and Behavior and Negotiation and Conflict Resolution courses provided me with the tools and training to understand diverse backgrounds of the citizens and how to manage their concerns. Specifically, I am thankful that I obtained the viewpoint of not picking sides and that compromise was essential to finding a solution rather than becoming deadlocked. It was most useful when trying to be a neutral body collecting data and interpreting it without bias. Some of my courses provided opportunities to work in groups online and while a pain at the time, it provided me with some experience I was able to leverage during this project. Being able to connect to people and coalitions online to gamer support was critical to this project and the partnerships created with the Big Thompson Watershed Coalition and the Colorado Tree Farmers were the reason I was able to have citizens participate in the focus group. Discussions in class gave me the opportunity to identify and respect the competing values of each student as they answered questions and provided their viewpoints. It was an excellent training ground to develop the skills required to respond respectively even when I disagreed. It also provided me many, many, MANY opportunities to communicate effectively in writing to the diverse groups of students I had in each of my classes. Unfortunately, since I took most of my courses online, there were few chances to present to my peers. However, the few assignments I had provided me with skills I was able to use while interviewing my professionals and hosting the focus group.
I have had experience drafting policy and procedures for various federal level agencies, the US Army, and state institutions. I’ve been able to teach myself many things over the years to
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get the job done, but that is all on the job training. The competencies, knowledge and skills gained from my MPA courses has helped me produce a more rounded product not only based in experience, but now based in academia. Academia-based solutions provide a new element I have been lacking which I think will improve all products I create in the future. This project, in partnership with the University of Colorado Denver and Loveland Fire Rescue Authority, has tested many skills I have gained and are represented in this product. From thinking bigger regarding public policy to balancing the diverse viewpoints of the citizens and administration involved in wildfire mitigation, this paper represents 5 years of graduate level study and 20 years of workforce experience.
Fve reviewed my paper now and feel I can’t do much more at this point. I hope that my past five years are adequately demonstrated in this paper and beyond getting a good enough grade to pass, provides CPT Mialy and the LFRA something to help them with their efforts to protect their citizens. This is the last sentence I hope to write in my graduate degree program.
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Title (Capstone Project Title) Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming
Publication Date May 4, 2018
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Running h ead: W I L D L I F E M I T I G A T I O N Wildlife Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs Spring 2018

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Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan 1 Capstone Project Disclosure This client based project was completed on behalf of the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority and supervised by PUAD 5361 Capstone course ins tructor Christine Martell , PhD and second faculty reader Deserai Crow , PhD . This project does not necessarily reflect the views of the School of Public Affairs or the faculty readers. Raw data were not included in this document, rather relevant materials were provided directly to the client. Permissions to include this project in the Auraria Library Digital Repository are found in the final appendix . Questions about this capstone project should be directed to the student author.

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Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan 2 Executive Summary The Loveland Fire Rescue Authority (LFRA) has requested recommendations to overcome ch allenges associated with wildfire mitigation activities on private land located within wilderness urban interface. Such challenges include achieving whole community wildfire mitigation, motivating residents, finding acceptable levels of mitigation support, and determining the role the LFRA should play in educating and supporting mitigation activities. A study was conducted through interviews and a focus group to try to determine recommendations for the LFRA on how to foster successful partnerships, identify challenges that need to be overcome to support mitigation efforts, and what role they should play throughout the process. This study found that most residents do want to mitigate against wildfires but simply lack the funding, time, o r ability to do so. They see it as overwhelming and inconvenient given other priorities in their lives. It is not a matter of desire but a matter of capability that keeps most residents from acting. A successful strategy for gaining support for wildfire mitigation in the Loveland WUI is to attack the overwhelming feeling mitigation activities create and provide the residents with manageable tasks and resources. To do this, the LFRA should develop an advisory board to participate in the development of the mitigation program, work with insurance brokers to establish discounts for mitigation, develop resources to relieve the challenges time and ability present to residents, and empower residents to continue mitigation activities into the future. By focusing o n the specific needs of the residents and providing various options aimed at making it as easy as possible for a them to mitigate their property, the LFRA will find a higher rate of participation and grow a long lasting partnership with their WUI residents.

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Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan 3 Introduction The question of how to get wildland urban interface (WUI) residents to participate in wildfire mitigation activities is a constant struggle for local agencies trying to improve community defenses against wildfire. The WUI is home to residents with diverse backgrounds with a variety reasons for owning property. So how can local agencies encourage residents to mitigate their p roperties in turn creating resilient communities? What role should local agencies take in educating and supporting mitigation activities in their communities? What can local agencies offer to assist residents to tackle the challenges they face when attempting to mitigate their property? The Loveland Fire Rescue Authority (LFRA) has requested that this project recommend strategies to overcome these challenges, so it may foster partnerships during future efforts to achieve whole community wildfire mitigation. The City of Loveland was established in 1881 and has prospered thanks to its location along the Overland Stage Trail, placement of a Great Western Sugar Company factory, cherry farms, and recently an abundance of jobs (Loveland Chamber of Comme rce, History of Loveland). The Loveland Fire Rescue Authority (LFRA) district covers approximately 190 square miles and includes both the City of Loveland and residents living within the Loveland Rural Fire Protection District (LRFPD), for a combined population of approximately 87,500 (City of Loveland, Fire Rescue). The LFRA plans to apply for grant funding to provide resources to the WUI and lower the risk a wildfire would cause to homes and buildings within the communities along the western boundary of Loveland. This paper provides foundational information for the grant application as justification as to how and why LFRA plans to use grant funding if awarded. LFRA will also use the findings to modify and tailor fit a wildland risk reduction and safety outreach program to the targets audiences.

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Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan 4 The wildland urban interface (WUI) is defined as areas where meet or intermingle with undeveloped wildland can be broken down further as intermix or interface WUI (Radeloff, Hammer, Stewart, Fried, Holcomb, & McKeefry, 2005, p. 800). Intermix describes when houses and wildland vegetation intermingle while interface WUI is when developed areas abut wildland vegetation (Radeloff et all, 2005). The WUI fire problem has increased over the years in intensity and frequency in part due to the potential of high intensity fires caused by years of fuel buildup (Cohen, 2008). The abundance of surface and ladder fuels allow for crown fires to occur which set the stage for extreme fire conditions that leave WUI structures susceptible to quick ignition and little firefighting resources (Cohen, 2008). A long standing and still used method for protecting the WUI for years was fuel treatments (e.g., prescribed burns and mechanical removal) conducted mostly on public lands in and near communities within the WUI. Recently, an emphasis has been placed on programs that support the mitigation of homes and structures in the WUI. Mitigation of homes include creating a defensible space around the structure by using fire resistant building materials and regularly clearing combustibles around structures. Mitigation has been shown to improve the chances of structure survival and has become a standard part of some home insu rance programs. Calkin, Cohen, Finney, & Thompson (2014) found of the home ignition zone (HIZ) is the most cost effective investment for reducing home (p. 750). The HIZ is a zone based fire reduction technique providing guidance on how to mitigate starting at the home and working out towards the edges of the property. Data show that most WUI disasters are not caused directly by wildfire, but from smaller fires caused by the main fire (Cohen, 2008). The theory of HIZ is to clear an area around the structure so that these smaller fires cannot occur near the home, thus sparing the home from burning down. However, most inhabitants of the WUI do

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Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan 5 not clear debris regularly and are inclined not to remove trees and vegetation due to a sentiment of environmentalism or more likely, an emotional attachment with the aesthetics of their property. Keith Worley, a supporter of Firewise communities, said brag about how many trees they saved when they built their h ouse in an overgrown, forest, as if this was a good when discussing the hesitation of creating home ignition zones (Wells, 2014). Mitigation has been shown to improve the chances of structure survival and has become a standard part of some fire in surance programs. The difference seen between mitigated and non mitigated homes is evident in the Cathedral Pines neighborhood during the Black Forest fire of 2013 near Colorado Springs, Colorado. This neighborhood mitigated as a whole and the result was the loss of only one home, while less or unmitigated neighborhoods nearby totaled 511 losses, the most in Colorado history (Marotti, 2013). There are ways to mitigate and keep the natural beauty of home through fire resistant plants, spacing of trees, structural improvements such as fire resistant siding and shingles, and general upkeep of both private property and public land to remove surface and ladder fuels. A community is stronger if every home participates as it minimizes the overall risk of wildfire spreading from house to house. However, there is not an easy way to get every home to participate when mitigation requires routine labor and changing a landscape that could be the very reason some home owners chose to live in the WU I . As the focus of mitigation moves from public to private lands, the purpose of this paper is to allow agencies, like the LFRA, to develop new strategies to increase participation in private land mitigation activities. This paper includes a literature review fo cused on private land mitigation challenges, a review of the research questions, a description of the data sources,

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6 Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan collection methods, data analysis, results, discussion on findings, and recommendations for LFRA. Overview of Loveland Fire & Rescue Authority Loveland has had a fire department serving its community since 1883. Two competing services eventually combined in 1911 to serve the City of Loveland. However, serving the areas beyond city limits was always difficult due to the equipment and resources, so in 1950, the Loveland Rural Fire Protection District was formed to provide fire services to those areas beyond city boundaries. In 2012, the City of Loveland and the Loveland Rural Fire Protection District established the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority Fire Authority (LFRA) responsible for all fire and emergency services within the boundaries of the Loveland Rural Fire Protection District and the City of Loveland. The mission is commitment, compassion and co urage, the mission of the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority (LFRA) is to protect life and It combines career and volunteer fighter fighters as well as approximately 90 staff members to make up its workforce. The LFRA provides fire and rescue services in an area totaling approximately 190 square miles and includes a volunteer battalion that serves the western boundary which is critical to fire response of the Loveland WUI. Literature Review Scholars have conducted several studies to understand the problem associated with gaining widespread cooperation from residents to mitigate private property within the WUI. In this body of literature there is recent increased focus of mitigation of homes and private lands to mitigate against wildfires. There are many difficulties to cooperation of private residents such as

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7 Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan access to private land, cost, perception of those trying to promote mitigation, understanding of risk, and willingness to participate. However, many scholars have found the benefits of home protection to be a better use of resources and provides the highest probability of survival to the home when a wildfire hits, so it is important to find new ways to partner with citizens of the WUI. This section first discusses the growing threat of wildfires to WUI communities, then focuses on moving towards private land mitigation and discuss the benefits of and hesitation by private residents t o mitigate, and finally outlines how increased education, social interaction, and creative new ways to partner with the communities are needed to have effective mitigation programs in the WUI. WUI protection is a growing problem Development in the wildland urban interface (WUI) has rapidly increased over the past 20 years due to the desire and accessibility of wooded, natural properties. This expansion of communities into areas of natural lands resulting in increased wildfire risk to private Schoennagel, Nelson, Theobald, Carnwath, and Chapman, 2009, p. 10706). Wildfire related insured losses have seen a $6.2 billion increase over the past decade demonstrating the sharp increase of high value assets that are now being impacted (Calkin, Cohen, Finney, & Thompson, 2014, p.746). The majority of wildfire suppression costs are being directed toward the protection of people and their properties. Calkin et al. (2014) see a need for overcoming the perception that WUI fire disasters are a wildfire control problem and instead suggest it be seen as a home ignition problem focusing on the protection of homes to reduce loss. Penman, Eriksen, Horsey, and Bradstock (2016) explain that the house and grounds reduces the fuel s on and a round the structures to decrease the probability of the structure igniting from embers to reduce the severability of fire behavior on or around the (p. 88). Unfortunately, they

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8 Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan also explain that only a small number of residents adequately prepares their homes against wildfire (Penman et al, 2016). Current fire mitigation treatments do not protect WUI communities Mitigation treatments funded by the US Forrest Service and other agencies, such as prescribed burns and forest thinning or fuel reduction, help reduce the severity of natural wildfires if and when it reaches that area. This helps increase the likelihood fires that start on public lands can be containe d quickly and successfully protecting any structures that may be in nearby WUIs. Current management practices frame WUI fire disaster as a wildfire control problem, instead of focusing on the susceptibility of structures to the inevitability of wildfire exposure et al, 2014, p. 747). Increasing the ineffectiveness of current practices is the fact that most areas treated are than 10 km from the ( Schoennagel et al., 2009, p. 10706). This leaves large swaths of land adjacent to WUIs untreated and potential flash points for fires. Looking inside the WUI , only 3% of the total area treated across the 11 western states was within the (Schoennagel et al., 2009, p.10706). Since 70% of the WUI is privately owned, their study shows that there is a very large area of land not being treated and represents of reducing fire risk within the mostly privately owned WUI (Schoennagel et al., 2009, p. 10710). Private land mitigation is the key to structural safety As Scheoennagel et al. (2009) concluded, the ability of federal agencies to implement fire reduction treatments near and within WUI communities is limited, suggesting a different strategy for treatment must be found. Responding to wildfires and tre ating wildland fuels on public lands do not address the issue of the of homes to ignition and subsequent

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9 Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan (Calkin et al., 2014, p. 747). Calkin et al. (2014) suggest instead that the responsibility for preventing WUI home destruction lies with (p. 747). Residents must focus on the reduction of hazardous fuel loads, like bushes, tree limbs, and other flammable debris around their structures thus mitigating the HIZ. Calkin et al. (2014) found of the HIZ is the most cost effective investment for reducing home (p. 750). However, a large majority of homeowners cannot, or will not, mitigate their homes even though the benefits in doing so are real and vital to the successful defense of wildfire destruction. Benefits to private property mitigation Schoennagel et al. (2009) state proofing houses and their immediate surroundings should provide the most direct and effective wildfire protection of homes and communities in the (p. 10710). Calklin et al. (2014) concluded care of th e HIZ separates home losses from wildland fire behavior, regardless of the other elements of wildfire risk (fire behavior and its (p. 750). Rather than relying on treatment of public lands to provide sole protection of their homes, residents need to focus on treatment of their homes, structures and land. Each property tha t mitigates reduces the chance fires will ignite and spread from structure to structure thus lowering the risk of wildfire destruction to the whole community. Reasons why residents may resist recommendations to mitigate Studies have found some common reasons residents do not prepare their homes against the threat of wildfire such as lifestyle priorities, perceived risk, property location, and previous experience of fire (Penman et al., 2016, p. 94). The study of two approaches of wildfire mitigation in Canada by Labossiere and McGee (2016) found they opposition from

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1 0 Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan residents about removing tress for wildfire mitigation efforts due to their aesthetic values and the p erceived privacy they (p. 207). Penman et al. (2016) found many residents do not consider the risk to their property to be severe enough and Brenkert Smith and Champ (2012) found who did not think their property was at risk of wildfi re had lower levels of mitigation (p. 1146). Studies have also shown that a lack of funding and public support easily derail any hazard mitigation plans. While comparing two counties mitigation behaviors, Brenkert Smith et al. (2012) found that a o f funds to undertake wildfire risk mitigation actions appears to be a (p. 1149). Since the average cost to prepare a home is close to $10,000, providing funds to do so is likely to motivate a homeowner to act. Other factors associated with funding include the value a resident may place on their property and if they even desire to protect it. If mitigation costs a certain amount but the resident does not value his/her property enough to make that investment or they have already made the decision to write it off as a loss, then they are less likely to take any mitigation action even at the expe nses of their property. There is also a lack of public trust between residents of the WUI and their local government or agency. The foundation for this distrust can be rooted in communications between residents and the local agencies. Remenick (2016) found that poor communication can minimize the residents understanding of the efforts as well as minimize the understanding of what solution will fit its communities. For an agency to successfully partner with its residents, it must figure out a way to demonstrate the real risk of wildfire, provide new methods to support and implement mitigation activities, and build trust with its residents so that they know the government, in this case at least, aims to help. Perceived risk needs to be real

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Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan 10 The common theme to successful implementation of any mitigation effort on private lands is to demonstrate the real risk of wildfires to homeowners. who perceived higher levels of wildfire risk on their property had undertaken higher levels of wildfire risk mitigation on their (Brenkert Smith et al., 2012, p. 1139). Other research supports this finding as well, information about wildfire risk can motivate landowners to undertake risk mitigation measures and to become effective stewards of th eir ( Mozumder, Helton and Berrens, 2009, p. 1597). programs can increase public understanding of wildfire risk and encourage mitigation by (Koebele, Crow, Lawhon, Kroespsch, & Schild, 2015, p. 919). Residents do not know what they do not know but as each WUI community is different, so should the method of delivering the educational resources. Methods found to be successful to change perceptions of risk included providing tailored information regarding the risk to specific parcels, developing personalized mitigation recommendations, and distributing wildfire risk maps for the community all aimed at community awareness of wildfire risks and promoting implementation of fire mitiga tion (Schoennagel et al., 2009, p. 10710). While there have been many educational mailers, flyers, websites, posters, and pamphlets distributed all over the country, Koeble et al. (2015) found that WUI residents favored over on e way information exchanges. This finding helps support the priority that needs to be given to personal interactions with the residents instead of static brochures. Building social capital and trust strengthens efforts Koeble et al. (2015) found that there was a strong, positive relationship between mitigation activity when information was passed between neighbors or at community groups due to the personal process of disseminating information. Labossiere and McGee (2017) identified

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Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan 11 social capital as another factor positively influencing wildfire mitigation efforts and that the best issue champions were local park department technicians and the fire chief. A study by Brenkert Smith et al. (2012) showed that information received from local volunteer fire departments and county wildfire specialists, as well as talking with neighbors about wildfire, were positively associated with higher levels of mitigation (p. 1139). Conversely, they found that media as a source of information did not contribute to any levels of mitigation. Crow et al. (year) found that of many methods currently being utilized for mitigation outreach, face to face contact is perceived as the most effective by wildfire management professionals while c ommunity events and public meetings follow closely behind. However, while meetings and events are common techniques used, they are found to have little participation by the target audiences. One on one meetings provide opportunities to share tailored wildfire information and stress the importance of wildfire mitigation. Once residents understand the wildfire risk and support the mitigation efforts, they may become advocates and active partners for future efforts setting up the potential for a snowball of supporters. The use of citizen entrepreneurs to help with direct interaction can foster and strengthen the social capital that is critical to promoting wildfire mitigation (Koebele et al., 2015). Citizen entrepreneurs are motivated citizens who can sup port the local agency to plan mitigation activities, provide outreach, help with implementation and be the face of the effort rather than an agency spokesperson. The citizen entrepreneur can thus augment government agencies at many intersections of mitigation and resident crossroads and help the communities feel empowered instead of regulated. Building trust between the residents and local agency is critical to promoting and implementing any mitigation activities. If citizen entrepreneurs cannot be found, the agency must

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12 Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan take special care to build trust and bridge gaps at the very start of the process. Crow, Lawhon, Koebele, Kroepsch, Schild, and Huda (2015) found that building trust could be the key to garnering support for the fire professionals who are responsible for the education and planning of mitigation activities for the residents. This will allow them to overcome barriers of distrust found by many government agencies when they are attempting to influence communities to act. Overcoming resource challenges requires new methods The investment of time and money for mitigation activities is a constant challenge when attempting to promote mitigation activities. It is the easiest excuse for a resident to make when it comes to deciding how and if to mitigate their property. Penman et al. ((2016) suggest incentives may assist in the community adoption of these measures and reduce (p. 94). The use of grants, insurance rebates, and partnerships between residents and local businesses could help offset the costs of mitigation. For example, Larry Brown, a neighborhood ambassador for Firewise of Southwest Colorado, partnered with the Rotary Club of Durango Daybreak to lead an effort to create a fuel break below his community and donated the wood to the Rotary to provide to homes in need (Wildfire Mitigation through Partnerships). This connection between mitigation and charity helped him partner with his Home Owner Associations (HOA), other residents along the proposed fuel break, and local businesses who helped haul the wood to the charity (Wildfire Mitigation through Partnerships). While the perceived risk of the property is still a powerful driver in the decision to mitigation, alle viating cost, or even making them more tolerable, could make the decision much easier. Gaps in current literature

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13 Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan There was no research that compared the types of mitigation activities residents can do and the level of difficulty associated with it. There is also no research on how to overcome age or ability limitations when it comes to mitigation on private property. There was also little mentioned as to how to overcome the inconvenience of mitigation felt by WUI residents. This study aims to identify strategies to reduce the difficulties residents face when attempting to mitigation their property. This literature review looked at the growing threat of wildfires to WUI communities, how the focus is moving towards private land mitigation, a discussion of the benefits for and hesitation by private residents to mitigate, and how increased education, social interaction, and creative new ways to partner with the communities are needed to have effective mitigation programs in the WUI. This paper attempts to identify whether findings in other research are applicable to the residents of the LFRPD WUI and answer some of the gaps in the research such how to approach mitigation in achievable chunks, what programs could be available to assist residents to mitigate, and how to make mitigation seem less of a nuisance and more of a necessity. Methodology To address the gaps identified in the literature, and to assist the LFRA develop strategies to overcome challenges of gaining homeowner support and foster partnerships, three research questions guide the research process. 1. How should the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority (LFRA) approach residents within the Loveland Rural Fire Protection District (LRFPD) wildland urban interface (WUI) in a manner that will foster successful partnerships?

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14 Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan 2. What challenges of wildfire mitigation actions need to be overcome to support residents? 3. What role should Loveland Fire Rescue Authority (LFRA) take as it pertains to performing mitigation activities? Measurement and Data Collection To answer the research questions, an interview method by means of phenomenology research design is used to understand perspectives, perceptions, and understandings of the difficulty of achieving community wide wildfire mitigation of private property. A focus was given to experiences that center around successful and/or unsu ccessful partnerships with residents regarding willingness to mitigate on their properties. Interviews were conducted with wildfire, wildland, and emergency management professionals to help examine their experience on past and present partnerships with WUI residents. A focus group consisting of WUI residents was used to examine their experience on past and present partnerships with local agencies and discuss themes and findings identified during the interviews. During both interviews and the focus group, new ideas for cooperative partnerships were solicited and captured as possible recommendations for the LFRA to consider. Sampling Plan Subjects for the professional interviews were identified at first by the client and then by those that were interviewed in a snowball design. Six professionals were interviewed. They hailed from Boulder County, the City of Loveland, and Larimer County (Appendix F). Criteria included those that have direct responsibility regarding wildfire activities with WUI communities along the Front Range of Colorado. An interview questionnaire (Appendix B) was used to conduct the interview and responses were recorded on the interviewers copy.

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15 Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan Six participants self selected into the focus group which was held on March 14 , 2018 and represented WUI Communities with the foothills of Larimer County (Appendix G). To garner participation in the focus group, the event was advertised through local activism groups, social media platforms, and local agencies. Participants volunteered to attend and a sign in sheet was used to capture their attendance. Residents who participated in the focus group were all supportive of mitigation skewing the responses to pro mitigation. A focus group questionnaire was used to conduct the interview and responses were recorded on the interviewers copy. Validity and Reliability To ensure validity of the research results, multiple methods of data gathering were selected, and differing viewpoints were solicitated to allow for a comparison of s imilarities and differences to ensure different perspectives were represented (Noble & Smith, 2015). To be sure the interview and focus group questions measure the responses needed to answer the research questions, interview coding categories (Appendix A) were created the matching interview questions with the appropriate research question. Each interview utilized an interview script (Appendix B) so that the gathering of responses was done in a consistent manner. Interviewees were also granted the opportunity to view the interview transcript and provide comments on themes and concepts captured to ensure the accuracy of their responses. Data Analysis Interviews were designed to gather participant perspectives surrounding the phenomenon of resident wildfire mitigation participation challenges based on experiences and/or knowledge of past efforts. The interviews also allowed for opinions to be expresses as well as ideas to be collected. Coding categories were developed based on the research questions and responses were

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16 Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan classified into categories so that themes could be identified, and any key opinions or ideas could be highlighted. The themes include approaches to successful partnerships, attractive mitigation activities, and the role of local government. The same interview questions were used as the basis of the focus group discussion in order to compare professional responses with citizen responses. However, the themes and potential recommendations found in the professional interview s were also discussed during the focus group, for participants review and response. The focus group responses and discussion were placed into a results matrix so, like the interviews, key themes, opinions, and ideas could be highlights. The themes Once the interviews and focus groups were concluded, the data collected were combined with findings identified from the literature and interpreted into responses to the research questions and recommendations to LFRA. Findings and Results In general, the professionals and focus group participants agreed that the level of perceived risk of wildfires by the WUI communities was medium to medium high. The warm winters, beetle kill, and more regularity of wildfires has left residents with little doubt they live in an area at risk to wildfires. Both the professionals and focus group participants agreed there was a higher motivation level to mitigate when residents felt the risk of wildfire was real and rises sharply whenever there is a local fire along the front range of Colorado. Discussing whether the focus of mitigation should be on private or public lands resulted in the professionals leaning towards focusing on public lands and the focus group leaning

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Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan 17 towards both. Public lands are easier to access and allow for larger mitigation operations , such as prescribed burns (Professional). They also have an established land management culture and are publicly funded, but that may be changing with the increased frequency of fires. the fire service is spending more on response these days, that means less for public land (Professional). It is easier to mitigate public land and respondents supported continued efforts even if a shift of strategy focuses on private lands. While private is more complicated due to myopic tendencies and less structure within the communities, it was agreed that mitigation cannot happen on just one or the other. Any efforts on private land should also see efforts on neighboring public land. any good if either is mitigated and the other (Resident). There was an acknowledgement from the professionals that since all the high dollar fire loss are usually private community structures, focus on private land mitigation must be a priority. The risk is growing for the resident and so is the responsibility for them to mitigate. you are a responsible property owner, what do I do to keep it for my future (Resident) ? does what they (Resident) Financial challenges were the number one issue brought up as reasons why residents do not mitigate. expensive and certainly more than one realizes when they embark on mitigation (Resident). If the government were to provide funding, there needs to be low bureaucracy so that a resident will not just give up during the process. One focus group participant mentioned the funding cannot come with a restriction that it is only available if all residents participate. Since there are known residents that absolutely will not participate, this would be an unfair requirement. While some residents have the money to pay for mitigation efforts on their property, they simply choose not to. Some residents have accepted the risk and

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18 Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan have chosen to evacuate, consider the home a loss, and recoup from their insurance. To counter this, insurance companies could be leveraged to motivate residents to mitigate through penalties or incentives . One group that can require something and tie it to dollars is insurance companies (Professional). Residents and professionals agree that many residents lack the physical capability or experience performing the tasks required to mitigate their property. have the knowledge or skills if they just started living in a mountain (Resident). Residents feel overwhelmed with the size and scope of what is required and tend to lead toward inaction. beginning to understand what my parents were trying to do now and can see why it was too much for them (Resident). The professionals described residents as wanting to receive information and the focus group participants identified needs for the government to make the process easy for them to use. Residents want places to go for education, tools, and resources so they can do the mitigation themselves. Even the focus group participant who owned a chipper and just converted 50 acres from forest to pasture understood the difficulties expressed by his neighbors. focus on the big things and get lost in the overall (Professional). Time also plays a factor as it takes a large investment of it to identify what needs to be done, figure out how to do it, find contractors or others to help, conduct the mitigation, and then dispose of the debr is when done. did not move up here to be a (Professional). Maintaining a HIZ is not a one and done effort and requires regular upkeep for as long as the resident resides in the WUI. like their (Professional)

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19 Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan While most understand about mitigation there are distinct vocal minorities on the debate regarding how mitigation may or may not ruin the landscape, nature, and beauty of the WUI. Demographics and attitudes differ greatly from community to community as well as types of residents ranging from permanent, vacationer, or simply new to the area which all can impact the understanding and priority given to mitigation. Focus group participa nts did not mention aesthetics as a limitation but the professionals did. leaning up the property is good for the The professionals mentioned that residents they have encountered did not want to mitigate for fear of disturbing the vegetation, ruining their view, or upsetting the natural environment they move there to be in. the (Professional) To educate and motivate residents, face to face interaction appears to be the most desired and seen as making the most impact. Everybody who participated cited get togethers, events, and community gatherings are a great place to start interest, but the lasting impact of these meetings is usually low. at pre existing events or community groups and perform site inspections to provide improvement S ite visits and home evaluations are critical to the mitigation planning process. introductions but the payoff is site (Professional). Both professionals and focu s group participants agreed that government representatives are not the best spokesperson for these meetings. Instead, many recommended community trusted agents like the local fire chief, community leaders, HOAs, and other local coalitions or groups to lead the discussions. Another popular method of communicating with the WUI community is word of mouth or grass roots efforts. These one on one interactions with neighbors and trusted agents will help grow the interest and trust in the effort. advantage of the few that ask about mitigation, so

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Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan 20 they may spread the word to their neighb (Professional). When information is presented to the residents, some factors are more effective such as providing advice instead of regulations and being shown the return on investments. Other sources such as websites, social media, newsletters, and emails are all viable options but should be used to support the direct interaction going on in the communities. found out about this project through small group list and think that and community newsletters and publications work (Resident). with the (Resident) Careful partnership with the local government is seen by respondents as critical to the mitigation effort. what the residents need to do is an easy way to turn people off the (Professional). Residents want to feel as if they have been listened to and are part of the process of formulating a mitigation strategy. have to listen to the community and not give them a cookie cutter (Professional). Residents want choices that will fit their specific situation and not generic diagrams or strategies. places to go for education, tools, and resources so we can do it (Resident). Both the professionals and the focus group participants want to see continued support beyond the initial mitigation effort. have continued and ensure a follow up (Professional). Setting a common understanding of what is going to be done as well as understanding what is available is important from a resident perspective. to com municate all the available services would result in wasted (Resident). Discussion and Recommendations Residents are more and more aware of the risks of wildfire facing them as residents of the WUI. As the fire seasons grow longer and the threat of wildfires is better understood by WUI

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Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan 21 residents, they are becoming more acceptable of taking mitigation steps that will reduce wildfire risk to their property. However, just because there is now a willingness to mitigate, there are still challenges to overcome. R1 How should the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority (LFRA) approach residents within the Loveland Rural Fire Protection District (LRFPD) wildland urban interface (WUI) in a manner that will foster successful partnerships? The findings in this research identified the diverse makeup of r esidents within the WUI. This diversity, ranging experience, and vast difference of motivation is something that must be explored by the LFRA by integrating with each community, so it can engage, elicit participation, listen to the residents, and gain an understanding of what needs to be addressed in a mitigation strategy. Residents do not want generic programs, they do not want to be dictated what they must do, and they want to be part of the discussion. Community meetings, educational forums, and mitigation promotion events are great ways to start a conversation and should be followed up with face to face interaction and site visits. The LFRA should not be the spokesperson when possible and leverage trusted agents and/or coalitions to help promote the programs. As a plan is developed based on residents input, it needs to provide advice instead of regulations, account for the landscape that has drawn many to live in the WUI and be phased in such a way residents are comfortable taking small steps and avoid being overwhelmed. Engaging residents provides the opportunity to understand their specific time and ability challenges so that when a mitigation plan is provided to them, it will include options that will overcome their challenges and make mitigation seem achievable. R2 What challenges of wildfire mitigation actions need to be overcome to support residents?

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Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan 22 Residents are more likely to participate if the LFRA can somehow support them with funding, training, and other resources associated with mitigation. Focusing on making it easier to mitigate will foster more involvement of residents by suppressing the overwhelming feeling of the task. Financial support can be found through grants, local tax breaks, or working with the insurance industry to offer discounts if residents mitigate to some standard. By providing resources to find contractors or other labor expertise, the LFRA can help the residents save time finding the help they need. By providing education, tools, training to teach the residents how to mitigate their properties, the LFRA can develop the capability of each resident to mitigate their property today and for the future. R3 What role should Loveland Fire Rescue Authority (LFRA) take as it pertains to performing mitigation activities? The LFRA needs to be seen as a partner and not as another government entity telling a resident what to do. Residents want to be heard when it comes to offering solutions to them and they do not want to be dictated to. The LFRA needs to be the conduit that makes it easier for the resident to mitigate their property by collecting the needs of the residents and finding the correct resources. The LFRA should be a silent partner as much as possible only stepping into the process when requested or required. By offering choices and places to go for help, they will empower the residents to take care of their own properties. With the support of follow up programs, the LFRA can help new residents and continue to strengthen the resiliency of the communities against wildfire. Recommendations

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Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan 23 1. The LFRA should develop a stakeholder group to help foster partnership in the development of t he mitigation program. Creating a citizen advisory board to work with the LFRA could help ensure citizen concerns are heard and part of the program development process. Rather than just seeking feedback during meetings or onli be more efficient and useful for managers to create an advisory committee of concerned citizens from nearby neighborhoods, local government and fire officials, environmental groups, recreation groups, and business (Ryan & Wamsley, 2006, p. 13). An advisory committee will help allow representation of the many different perspectives of each resident and community and create partnerships that can assist with making the mitigation process easier. Most importantly, fostering citizen buy in to the process will give it validity and yield more participation by residents helping meet a goal of community wide mitigation. 2. The LFRA should reach out to the major insurance brokers used in the WUI to establish a certificate of mitigation compliance to provide discounts to the residents. Insurance companies are having to pay out more and more claims associated with wildfires, so they may see an opportunity to offer discounts in hopes of growing wildfire mitigation activities. One company, viding discounts to their policyholders that reside in Firewise communities in selected and can be used as a starting point for exploring options ( Berry, Deaton, & Steinberg, 2016, p. 196). Insurance companies may also be able to work in discounts with companies that specialize in wildfire mitigation could provide financial relief in the long term and have more influence on property decisions based on the cost of coverage.

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24 Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan 3. The LFRA should develop a wide variety of options that can be used to relieve the challenges time and ability for each resident. By providing homeowner assistance, the LFRA can overcome the challenges residents face when deciding whether or not to mitigate their home. A survey conducted in 2005 of 56 municipalities within the continental US showed that 47 provided some sort of assistance. The types of service provided consisted of inspections, free prescriptions, and cost share or free clearing and chipping or disposal (Reams, Haines, Renner, Wascom, & Ki ngre, 2005, p. 822). Professionals and interviews recommended similar services such as convenient slash piles, free days at the landfill, support finding labor from local universities/organizations that need community service, cost sharing, labor incentives and even free leaf blowers for each home to help clearing debris on a regular basis. Each of these suggestions would make the task of mitigation easier and more likely to be conducted. 4. Empower residents to make their own decisions and actions for ongoing mitigation. The LFRA should offer workshops and support that residents can use to learn how to mitigate and enable them to continue the process for years to come. Some options could include recommended contractors, opportunities to develop the skills needed to mitigate, equipment purchase or rental, support to find labor, convenient means of easy removal of material year round, and even the option to have the work managed by a 3rd party vendor. Another option is to bring programs like Australi Fireguard which encourages education, participation and empowerment of residents in high fire risk areas, taking responsibility for their own fire safety and working together to devise survival strategies that suit their particular si (Boura, 1998, p. 60).

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25 Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan Limitations of this study This study only included seven professionals for interviews and five residents for the focus group. This is not a great sample of the 200+ professionals in the region of the LFRA or the 2000+ property owners in the Loveland WUI area. Also, as expected, all focus group participants were pro mitigation so that must be accounted for in the find ings. This study did not capture first hand anti mitigation opinions. If LFRA creates a citizen advisory board as part of its program planning process, the limitations of this study will be resolved. Conclusion While there are outliers, this study found that most residents do want to mitigate against wildfires but simply lack the funding, time, or ability to do so. They see it overwhelming and inconvenient given other priorities in their lives. It is not a matter of desire but a matter of capability that keeps most residents from taking action. A successful strategy for gaining support for wildfire mitigation in the Loveland WUI is to attack the overwhelming nature of mitigation and provides the residents with manageable tasks and resources. To do this, the LFRA should develop an advisory board to participate in the development of the mitigation program, work with insurance brokers to establish discounts for mitigation, develop resources to relieve the challenges time and ability present to r esidents, and empower residents to continue mitigation activities into the future. By focusing on the specific needs of residents and providing various options aimed at making it as easy as possible for a them to mitigate their property, the LFRA will find a higher rate of participation and grow a long lasting partnership with their WUI residents.

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26 Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan References Berry, F.; Deaton, L.; Steinberg, M. (2016). Firewise: The value of voluntary action and standard approaches to reducing wildfire risk. Arizona State Law Journal 48(1), 181 203. Boura, J. (1998). Community Fireguard: creating partnerships with the community to minimise the impact of bushfire. Australian Journal of Emergency Management, The , 13(3), 59. Brenkert Smith, H., Champ, P. A., & Flores, N. (2012). Trying not to get burned: understanding wildfire risk mitigation behaviors. Environmental Management , 50 (6), 1139 1151. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/LhujSA . Calkin, D. E., Cohen, J. D., Finney, M. A., & Thompson, M. P. (2014). How risk management can prevent future wildfire disasters in the wildland urban interface. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , 111 (2), 746 751. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/HwQTPu . Cohen, J. (2008). The wildland urban interface fire problem: A consequence of the fire exclusion paradigm. [Electronic Version]. Forest History Today. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/ucgjcm . Crow, D. A., Berggren, J., Lawhon, L. A., Koebele, E. A., Kroepsch, A., & Huda, J. (2016). Local media coverage of wildfire disasters: An analysis of problems and solutions in policy narratives. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy , 1 23. Crow, D. A., Lawhon, L. A., Koebele, E., Kroepsch, A., Schild, R., & Huda, J. (2015). Information, Resources, and Management Priorities: Agency Outreach and Mitigation of Wildfire Risk in the Western United States. Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy , 6(1), 69 90. Fire Rescue. City of Loveland. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/tptSu9 History of Loveland. Loveland Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/H2Vfz7 . Koebele, E., Crow, D. A., Lawhon, L. A., Kroepsch, A., Schild, R., & Clifford, K. (2015). Wildfire Outreach and Citizen Entrepreneurs in the Wildland Urban Interface: A Cross Case Analysis in Colorado. Society & Natural Resources , 28(8), 918 923. Kroepsch, A., Koebele, E. A., Crow, D. A., Berggren, J., Huda, J., & Lawhon, L. A. (2017). Remembering the Past, Anticipating the Future: Community Learning and Adaptation Discourse in Media Commemorations of Catastrophic Wildfires in Colorado. Environmental Communication , 1 16. Labossière, L. M., & McGee, T. K. (2017). Innovative wildfire mitigation by municipal governments: Two case studies in Western Canada. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction , 22 , 204 210. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/g6c3dJ . Marotti, A. (2013, June 21). Fire mitigation measures saved some Black Forest homes. The Denver Post . Retrieved from http://goo.gl/rM6Q0c . Mozumder, P., Helton, R., & Berrens, R. P. (2009). Provision of a wildfire risk map: informing residents in the wildland urban interface. Risk analysis , 29 (11), 1588 1600. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/RQWPQg .

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27 Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan Noble, H., & Smith, J. (2015). Issues of validity and reliability in qualitative research. Evidence Based Nursing , ebnurs 2015. Penman, T. D., Eriksen, C. E., Horsey, B., & Bradstock, R. A. (2016). How much does it cost residents to prepare their property for wildfire?. International journal of disaster risk reduction , 16 , 88 98. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/vS33UG . Radeloff, V. C., Hammer, R. B., Stewart, S. I., Fried, J. S., Holcomb, S. S., & McKeefry, J. F. (2005). The wildland urban interface in the United States. Ecological applications , 15(3), 799 805. Reams, M. A., Haines, T. K., Renner, C. R., Wascom, M. W., & Kingre, H. (2005). Goals, obstacles and effective strategies of wildfire mitigation programs in the wildland urban interface. Forest policy and economics , 7(5), 818 826. Remenick, L. (2017). The Role of Communication in Preparation for Wildland Fire: A Literature Review. Environmental Communication , 1 13. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/egx4mE . Ryan, R. L., & Wamsley, M. B. (2006). Perceptions of wildfire threat and mitigation measures by residents of fire prone communities in the Northeast: survey results and wildland fire management implications. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/3gZAeD . Schoennagel, T., Nelson, C. R., Theobald, D. M., Carnwath, G. C., & Chapman, T. B. (2009). Implementation of National Fire Plan treatments near the wildland urban interface in the western United States. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , 106 (26), 10706 10711. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/qxdcgj . Wells, G, (2014, February 9). Wildfire professionals share insight into Black Forest fire and importance of mitigation . The Gazette. Retrieved from http://goo.gl/nTPjI7 . Wildfire Mitigation through Partnerships: Southwest Colorado Success Story. Fire Adapted Communities. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/k67kKz .

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28 Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan Appendix A Interview Coding Categories Background Information How should the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority (LFRA) approach private land owners within the Loveland Rural Fire Protection District (LRFPD) wildland urban interface (WUI) in a manner that will foster successful partnerships What wildfire mitigation actions might be most attractive and well received by private land owners? What role should Loveland Fire Rescue Authority (LFRA) take as it pertains to performing mitigation activities? What is your role and responsibility regarding wildland fire management? X What do you see as the majority viewpoint on wildfire mitigation? X X Is it different for public vs private property? X Where do you feel the majority of wildfire mitigation takes place? X Do you feel the focus of wildfire mitigation should be on private lands? X What is your experience with mitigation efforts of private land owners? X What do you feel motivates a private land owner to mitigate their property? X What do you feel limits a private land owner from mitigating their property? X Who do you feel fits the role of in the wildland urban interfaces within your area of responsibility? X X What do you feel is the best method of communication to the wildland urban interface communities? X What have you seen as effective and/or trusted methods of delivery for educational resources? X X If the local government was to provide funding for mitigation, what do you feel would be the top three keys to a successful partnership with the private land owners? X X X What missteps do you feel could be detrimental to the partnerships? X X X On a scale of 1 10 (1 = lowest and 10 = highest), how would you explain the current level of private landowner perceived risk of wildfires? X On a scale of 1 10 (1 = lowest and 10 = highest), what is the average priority given to wildfire mitigation by private land owners? X

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29 Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan Name of Interviewee Title of Interviewee Date of Interview Contact Information Background Introduction: Appendix B Interview Script 1. Introduce interviewer and context for involvement 2. Ensure accuracy note interviewee will have opportunity to review notes for accuracy to allow for honesty during interview 3. Explain the purpose of the interview and its connection to the project 1. What is your role and responsibility regarding wildland fire management? 2. What do you see as the majority viewpoint on wildfire mitigation? 3. Is it different for public vs private property? 4. Where do you feel the majority of wildfire mitigation takes place? 5. Do you feel the focus of wildfire mitigation should be on private lands? 6. What is your experience with mitigation efforts of residents? 7. What do you feel motivates a resident to mitigate their property? 8. What do you feel limits a resident from mitigating their property? 9. Who do you feel fits the role of urban interfaces within your area of responsibility? 10. What do you feel is the best method of communication to the wildland urban interface communities? 11. What have you seen as effective and/or trusted methods of delivery for educational resources? 12. If the local government was to provide funding for mitigation, what do you feel would be the top three keys to a successful partnership with the residents?

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Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan 30 13. What missteps do you feel could be detrimental to the partnerships? 14. On a scale of 1 10 (1 = lowest and 10 = highest), how would you explain the current level of private landowner perceived risk of wildfires? 15. On a scale of 1 10 (1 = lowest and 10 = highest), what is the average priority given to wildfire mitigation by residents? 16. Any final thoughts you would like to add?

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Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan 31 Date of Focus Group Contact Information Background Introduction: Appendix C Focus Group Script 1. Introduce focus group leader and context for involvement a. I am a student with the University of Colorado Denver and sponsored by Loveland Fire and Rescue Authority to conduct a research project aimed at finding a wildfire mitigation strategy that your community can get behind. Wildfire mitigation includes actions taken to protect lives and property from the d angers of wildfires. Your opinion on wildfire mitigation matters. Larimer County and the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority are seeking volunteers to discuss their good and bad experiences with efforts to mitigate private property against wildfire. We are looking for opinions from those of you that live in the rural, mountainous, or wooded areas of Larimer County regarding what has worked well for you and your neighbors, what challenges you face, and what ideas you have that the community can get behind. b. This project is not about the actual mitigation actions or programs to follow c. This project is about i. How best to communicate with the community in order to garner interest ii. How best to package/offer potential resources to increase participation iii. How to foster a partnership with local agencies and communities 2. Ensure accuracy request approval to record session for review later 3. Request all participants sign in and ensure them names will not be used in paper, only to contact afterwards to provide a copy 4. Explain t he purpose of the focus group and its connection to the project a. I have interviewed agency representatives to get their responses to some of these questions and to also provide a few ideas to present to this group b. Your responses will provide me with another side to the story 1. How do you feel about wildfire mitigation? 2. Where do you feel the majority of wildfire mitigation takes place? 3. Do you feel the focus of wildfire mitigation should be on private or public lands? 4. What is your experience with mitigation efforts on your land? Neighbors land? Community land? 5. What do you feel motivates you, as a resident, to mitigate your property? 6. What do you feel limits you, as a resident, from mitigating your property?

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Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan 32 7. What do you feel is the best method of communication to your communities? 8. What have you seen as effective and/or trusted methods of delivery for educational resources? 9. Setting cost aside, what do you feel would be the top three keys to a successful partnership between the community you live in and the local government for the purposes of the mitigation of your community? 10. What missteps do you feel could be detrimental to the partnerships? 11. On a scale of 1 10 (1 = lowest and 10 = highest), how would you explain the current level of your communities perceived risk of wildfires? 12. On a scale of 1 10 (1 = lowest and 10 = highest), what is the average priority given to wildfire mitigation by your community? 13. Any final thoughts you would like to add?

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Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan 33 Appendix D Loveland Fire Rescue Authority District

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Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan 34 Appendix E Focus Group Solicitation Be confident that what you do in your forest will improve it's health and sustainability for future generations. Become a Tree Farmer! Tree Farmer Alert Monday, March 12, 2018 Over 800 readers and growing! Wildfire Mitigation Strategies contributed by Sam Bogan Emergency Communications Coordinator CU Boulder Emergency Management I am a student with the University of Colorado Denver and sponsored by Loveland Fire and Rescue Authority to conduct a research project aimed at finding a wildfire mitigation strategy that your community can get behind. Wildfire mitigation includes actions taken to protect lives and property from the dangers of wildfires. Your opinion on wildf ire mitigation matters. Larimer County and the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority are seeking volunteers to discuss their good and bad experiences with efforts to mitigate private property against wildfire. We are looking for opinions from those of you that live in the rural, mountainous, or wooded areas of Larimer County regarding what has worked well for you and your neighbors, what challenges you face, and what ideas you have that the community can get behind. The meeting will be about 1 hour. Wednesday March 14th 7 8pm Loveland Library 300 N Adams Ave, Loveland, CO 80537 Erion Room Your RSVP is not needed, and a small complimentary gift will be given to each household in attendance.

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Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan 35 Brian Oliver Appendix F Interview Participants Wildfire Operations Manager City of Boulder David Zader Wildland Fire Administrator City of Boulder Jason Goodale Captain, Loveland Fire City of Loveland Mike Chard Director, Office of Emergency Management Boulder County / City of Boulder Robert Carmosino Captain, Loveland Fire City of Loveland Shayle Nelson Emergency Management Specialist Larimer County

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Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan 36 Joseph Turner Linda Dellmar Pete Koechley Shayna Jones Shayle Nelson Mike Salaz Appendix G Focus Group Participants

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Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan 37 Appendix H Supplemental Documentation Competencies, Knowledge and Skills Gained from My MPA I started my position at the University of Colorado Boulder and found quickly that I am a public servant who would be challenged to improve university policies and procedures to improve the safety of its diverse community of students and employees. As such, I focused my masters program and courses on exploring that responsibility and finding new ways to tackle that challenge based on academics and add to my experience. This capstone project has allowed me to take many of the competencies I have been exposed to, studied, and incorporated into my classwork over the years and combine them all into one undertaking. It became apparent that I would be relying on three competencies while I worked on my capstone to help recommend a strategy of partnership between the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority and the residents they serve to protect regarding f ire mitigation of private property. First, this project allowed me to participate and contribute to the City of public policy process. Next, it provided me the opportunity to analyze, synthesize, solve problems, and make recommendations that may help the LFRA on future initiatives. Finally, it required me to get out from behind the desk to communicate and interact with members of the Loveland Rural Fire Protection District workforce and its citizenry. By allowing me to work on this project, the LFRA has brought me into their public policy process where I have been able to better understand the challenges of creating policy for a diverse group of residents, those that live in the wildland urban interface (WUI). Specifically, I was able to participate in the public policy process of developing a wildland mitigation program to help protect privately owned structures and property. Two of my courses, Introduction to Public Administration and Intergovernmental Management helped prepare me fo r understanding

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Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan 38 the context regarding the City of responsibility to its WUI citizens and the connection between the LFRA and its administration at the local level. For example, Federal fire mitigation can only go so far leaving the state and local governments to pick up where it cannot go, private property. My Policy Process course allowed me to look at different policies during my research and identify opportunities that may work for the City of Loveland. Lastly, my Organization al Management and Behavior course gave me tools, such as how to discuss change and difficult situations with an organizations best interest at heart, to engage the professionals and residents I met with. Every course but one during my five year path to graduation has provided me with ample opportunity to analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems, make decisions, stress out, and stay up late at night when I really want to by way of research papers, literature reviews, presentations, and other projects. In Law of All Hazards Emergency Management, I had to write my first real paper since college which required me to relearn how to research, collect data from different sources and perspectives, pull it all together to accurately represent the case I was trying to justify, and most cite peer reviewed articles. Conducting my first literature review for Introduction to Public Administration helped prepare me to find and apply different perspectives and research on a topic in order to develop my own policy and/or management alternatives to the subject. Writing my Notification: Is it a Pathway for for Law of All Hazards Emergency Management gave me an opportunity to dive into my job, of managing the emergency notification tools for the university, to identify and prepare the ethical conflicts I may face. Of course, my Research and Analytical Methods course gave me a great base of knowledge of quantitative and qualitative designs that

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39 Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan helped me immensely when I started to figure out how I would approach the problem presented to me by the LFRA. This project could not have been completed without interaction with citizens of the LFRA who are experiencing change regarding responsibly of w ildfire mitigation. Both my Organizational Management and Behavior and Negotiation and Conflict Resolution courses provided me with the tools and training to understand diverse backgrounds of the citizens and how to manage their concerns. Specifically, I am thankful that I obtained the viewpoint of not picking sides and that compromise was essential to finding a solution rather than becoming deadlocked. It was most useful when trying to be a neutral body collecting data and interpreting it without bias. Some of my courses provided opportunities to work in groups online and while a pain at the time, it provided me with some experience I was able to leverage during this project. Being able to connect to people and coalitions online to garner support was critical to this project and the partnerships created with the Big Thompson Watershed Coalition and the Colorado Tree Farmers were the reason I was able to have citizens participate in the focus group. Discussions in class gave me the opportunity to identi fy and respect the competing values of each student as they answered questions and provided their viewpoints. It was an excellent training ground to develop the skills required to respond respectively even when I disagreed. It also provided me many, many, MANY opportunities to communicate effectively in writing to the diverse groups of students I had in each of my classes. Unfortunately, since I took most of my courses online, there were few chances to present to my peers. However, the few assignments I had provided me with skills I was able to use while interviewing my professionals and hosting the focus group. I have had experience drafting policy and procedures for various federal level agencies, the US Army, and state institutions. been able to teach myself many things over the years to

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Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Sam Bogan 40 get the job done, but that is all on the job training. The competencies, knowledge and skills gained from my MPA courses has helped me produce a more rounded product not only based in experience, but now based in academia. Academia based solutions provide a new element I have been lacking which I think will improve all products I create in the future. This project, in partnership with the University of Colorado Denver and Loveland Fire Rescue Authority, has tested many skills I have gained and are represented in this product. From thinking bigger regarding public policy to balancing the diverse viewpoints of the citizens and administration involved in wildfire mitigation, this paper represents 5 years of graduate level study and 20 years of workforce experience. my paper now and feel I much more at this point. I hope that my past five years are adequately demonstrated in this paper and beyond getting a good enough grade to pass, provides CPT Mialy and the LFRA something to help them with their efforts to protect their citizens. This is the last sentence I hope to write in my graduate degree program.

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Form Name: capstone repository permission Submission Time: May 4, 2018 3:56 pm Browser: Mozilla rv:11.0 / Windows IP Address: 129.19.3.7 Unique ID: 405376149 Location: 40.087799072266, -105.37349700928 Description Area SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS ELECTRONIC CAPSTONE REPOSITORY Description Area Dear Capstone Author and Capstone Client:The Auraria Library Digital Library Program is a nonprofit center responsible for the collection and preservation of digital resources for education.The capstone project, protected by your copyright, and/or created under the supervision of the client has been identified as important to the educational mission of the University of Colorado Denver and Auraria Library.The University of Colorado Denver and Auraria Library respectfully requests non-exclusive rights to digitize the capstone project for Internet distribution in image and text formats for an unlimited term. Digitized versions will be made available via the Internet, for onand off-line educational use, with a statement identifying your rights as copyright holder and the terms of the grant of permissions.Please review, sign and return the follow Grant of Permissions. Please do not hesitate to call me or email your questions.Sincerely,Matthew C. MarinerAuraria LibraryDigital Collections ManagerMatthew.mariner@ucdenver.edu303.556.5817 Grant of Permissions Description Area In reference to the following title(s): Author (Student Name) Sam Bogan Title (Capstone Project Title) Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Publication Date Spring 2018 I am the: Client Description Area As client of the copyright holder affirm that the content submitted is identical to that which was originally supervised and that the content is suitable for publication in the Auraria Library Digital Collections.

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Description Area This is a non-exclusive grant of permissions for on-line and off-line use for an indefinite term. Off-line uses shall be consistent either for educational uses, with the terms of U.S. copyright legislation's "fair use" provisions or, by the University of Colorado Denver and/or Auraria Library, with the maintenance and preservation of an archival copy. Digitization allows the University of Colorado Denver and/or Auraria Library to generate imageand text-based versions as appropriate and to provide and enhance access using search software. This grant of permissions prohibits use of the digitized versions for commercial use or profit. Signature Your Name Pat Mialy Date May 4, 2018 Email Address ATTENTION Description Area Grant of Permissions is provided to: Auraria Digital Library Program / Matthew C. MarinerAuraria Library1100 Lawrence | Denver, CO 80204matthew.mariner@ucdenver.edu303-556-5817

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Form Name: capstone repository permission Submission Time: May 4, 2018 1:54 pm Browser: Chrome 66.0.3359.139 / Windows 7 IP Address: 128.138.64.171 Unique ID: 405344644 Location: 40.087799072266, -105.37349700928 Description Area SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS ELECTRONIC CAPSTONE REPOSITORY Description Area Dear Capstone Author and Capstone Client:The Auraria Library Digital Library Program is a nonprofit center responsible for the collection and preservation of digital resources for education.The capstone project, protected by your copyright, and/or created under the supervision of the client has been identified as important to the educational mission of the University of Colorado Denver and Auraria Library.The University of Colorado Denver and Auraria Library respectfully requests non-exclusive rights to digitize the capstone project for Internet distribution in image and text formats for an unlimited term. Digitized versions will be made available via the Internet, for onand off-line educational use, with a statement identifying your rights as copyright holder and the terms of the grant of permissions.Please review, sign and return the follow Grant of Permissions. Please do not hesitate to call me or email your questions.Sincerely,Matthew C. MarinerAuraria LibraryDigital Collections ManagerMatthew.mariner@ucdenver.edu303.556.5817 Grant of Permissions Description Area In reference to the following title(s): Author (Student Name) Sam Bogan Title (Capstone Project Title) Wildfire Mitigation: Overcoming the Overwhelming Publication Date May 4, 2018 I am the: Author (student) Description Area As copyright holder or licensee with the authority to grant copyright permissions for the aforementioned title(s), I hereby authorize Auraria Library and University of Colorado Denver to digitize, distribute, and archive the title(s) for nonprofit, educational purposes via the Internet or successive technologies.

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Description Area This is a non-exclusive grant of permissions for on-line and off-line use for an indefinite term. Off-line uses shall be consistent either for educational uses, with the terms of U.S. copyright legislation's "fair use" provisions or, by the University of Colorado Denver and/or Auraria Library, with the maintenance and preservation of an archival copy. Digitization allows the University of Colorado Denver and/or Auraria Library to generate imageand text-based versions as appropriate and to provide and enhance access using search software. This grant of permissions prohibits use of the digitized versions for commercial use or profit. Signature Your Name Sam Bogan Date May 4, 2018 Email Address ATTENTION Description Area Grant of Permissions is provided to: Auraria Digital Library Program / Matthew C. MarinerAuraria Library1100 Lawrence | Denver, CO 80204matthew.mariner@ucdenver.edu303-556-5817