Exploring community-agency trust before, during and after a wildfire

Emily A. Sharp

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Wildfire management is a complex and often contentious issue in fire-prone communities in Victoria, Australia. The challenge of managing increasingly frequent and severe fires has prompted fire management agencies to recognise the importance of community-agency trust in working with communities to prepare for, respond to and recover from wildfire. Previous research has identified components of trust important to wildfire management in general or for a specific management stage (e.g. fire preparation). However, our understanding of how factors affecting community-agency trust may be similar or different at each stage of fire management is limited. This research attempted to address this gap by using semi-structured interviews and a mail survey to identify and explore factors affecting community-agency trusting relationships in each management stage (i.e. before, during and after) and among the stages of a wildfire event. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 38 community members (26 interviews) and 12 fire management agency staff who experienced wildfires in December 2006 and January 2007 in the King Valley, Victoria, Australia. Interview findings suggested that some factors affecting trust were unique to a particular management stage.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
  • Thwaites, Rik, Co-Supervisor
  • Millar, Joanne, Co-Supervisor
  • Curtis, Allan, Co-Supervisor
Award date01 Apr 2010
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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    Sharp, E. A. (2010). Exploring community-agency trust before, during and after a wildfire. Charles Sturt University.