This research was funded by the USDA Forest Service International Programs, grant number G-3-10895.
Wildfire risk -- Management -- Greece, Wildfires -- Preventiona and control -- Social aspects -- Greece, Prescribed burning, Wildfires -- Prevention and control -- Environmental aspects -- Greece, Social surveys
Adapting to the growing frequency of catastrophic wildfires in Greece and mitigating their effects is a complex socio-ecological problem. We used an online survey to query more than 100 engaged stakeholders who can potentially influence possible legislation and fire management organizational reform, emphasizing civil protection agencies and research entities. We focused the questionnaire on the importance of different wildfire effects to understand which were considered negative or unacceptable, indifferent, or positive. For fire prevention, we examined the range of acceptance and views on fuel management and fire use activities that are limited in extent or not allowed in Greece. We also examined the beliefs regarding ignition causes and responsibility, in addition to how different policies might reduce wildfire-related problems. The results revealed an emphasis on reforming wildfire management policies to deal with the way society and agencies function and interact, and mitigate the influence of climate change in wildfire frequency and behavior. In addition, respondents had a negative stance towards allowing wildfires to burn for resource objectives and a strong belief that arsonists are behind most ignitions. They also believe the lack of a national cadaster system is a major source of wildfire-related problems. The results indicate little support for fuel treatments, but increased acceptance for the legalization of fire use during firefighting (backfires). This study summarizes current wildfire perceptions in Greece and identifies opportunities and barriers to changes in wildfire governance to improve risk management programs and guide post-fire management and mitigation.
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/ 4.0/).
Palaiologou, P., Kalabokidis, K., Troumbis, A., Day, M. A., Nielsen-Pincus, M., & Ager, A. A. (2021). Socio-Ecological Perceptions of Wildfire Management and Effects in Greece. Fire, 4(2), 18.