Social and historical dimensions of wildfire research and the consideration given to practical knowledge: a systematic review

Joana Sousa, Can Çinar, Miguel Carmo, Marco A.S. Malagoli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Existing knowledge about fires has been challenged by changes in forests and wildfire regimes. We carried out a systematic literature review involving both a global and a case study approach (Portugal) to investigate the configuration of the social dimensions of wildfires in academic literature. We advance two interlocking claims: (i) human dimensions of wildfires are often simplified into shallow indicators of anthropogenic activities lacking social and historical grounding, and (ii) fire knowledge of Indigenous peoples and/or other forest and fire users and professionals remains overlooked. These arguments were manifest from the global-scale review and were confirmed by the case study of Portugal. The individual perceptions, memories and cultural practices of forest and fire users and professionals and the historical co-developments of fires, people and forests have been missing from wildfire research. Including and highlighting those perspectives will both add to existing knowledge and inform policies related to fire management by making them socially meaningful.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalNatural Hazards
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022

Keywords

  • Fires
  • Literature review
  • Portugal
  • Practical knowledge

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