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Article

Socio-Ecological Perceptions of Wildfire Management and Effects in Greece

1
Department of Geography, University of the Aegean, Mytilene, 81100 Lesvos Island, Greece
2
Department of Environment, University of the Aegean, Mytilene, 81100 Lesvos Island, Greece
3
USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT 59808, USA
4
Department of Environmental Sciences and Management, Portland State University, Portland, OR 97201, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Fantina Tedim
Received: 11 March 2021 / Revised: 27 March 2021 / Accepted: 30 March 2021 / Published: 2 April 2021
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: fire risk governance; society; fuel management; social survey; controlled burn fire risk governance; society; fuel management; social survey; controlled burn
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MDPI and ACS Style

Palaiologou, P.; Kalabokidis, K.; Troumbis, A.; Day, M.A.; Nielsen-Pincus, M.; Ager, A.A. Socio-Ecological Perceptions of Wildfire Management and Effects in Greece. Fire 2021, 4, 18. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4020018

AMA Style

Palaiologou P, Kalabokidis K, Troumbis A, Day MA, Nielsen-Pincus M, Ager AA. Socio-Ecological Perceptions of Wildfire Management and Effects in Greece. Fire. 2021; 4(2):18. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4020018

Chicago/Turabian Style

Palaiologou, Palaiologos, Kostas Kalabokidis, Andreas Troumbis, Michelle A. Day, Max Nielsen-Pincus, and Alan A. Ager 2021. "Socio-Ecological Perceptions of Wildfire Management and Effects in Greece" Fire 4, no. 2: 18. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4020018

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