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Scorched communities: recovery and learning after wildfire
Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Ledarskapscentrum.
Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), CRISMART (National Center for Crisis Management Research and Training).
Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Ledarskapscentrum.
Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Ledarskapscentrum.
2016 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In 2014, towards the end of a hot and very dry summer in Sweden, a fire broke out in the forests of the county of Västmanland. Fanned by high winds, this forest fire rapidly swept out of control, developing into a major disaster and national emergency. The acute phase continued for eleven days, resulting in one death, one seriously injured, 71 buildings and over 13,800 hectares of forest destroyed. Approximately 1000 persons and 1700 livestock were evacuated. In the aftermath of the fire, considerable criticism has been raised regarding the firefighting operation, communication with the affected communities and the functioning of the Swedish crisis management system in general. A number of inquiries and analyses have been initiated, some of which are still in progress. The fire has had dramatic effects on the environment, which will be clearly visible in the landscape for many years to come. Less visible, but equally far-reaching are the psychological and social consequences for the affected communities. This paper describes a project initiated in 2015 to study the impact of the Västmanland fire in affected local communities, focusing temporally on the first two years after the event. The impact is conceived of as deriving from the experience of the fire itself and its immediate physical consequences, and from adjusting to physical and social changes in the local environment, but it is also taken to stem from the multiple perceptions and varying understandings among different social actors of how the event has been managed and how it has been framed in the media. In the project these different perspectives are reflected in analyses of reporting in the media, examination of inquiry reports and other materials, observations and interviews with key actors, various stakeholders and community representatives. The purpose of the project is to understand how people and organizations have coped with and recovered from this particular environmental disaster in order to identify factors that support or prevent short term recovery and medium term resilience at the individual and community level. An overall outline of the project will be presented, together with some preliminary findings relating to implications of the post-fire period for recovery and learning processes. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Ledarskap under påfrestande förhållanden
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-6232OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-6232DiVA: diva2:944299
Conference
Society for Risk Analysis Europe Conference 2016, June 20-22 2016, Bath, UK
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Note

The abstract was published on the conference web.

Available from: 2016-06-29 Created: 2016-06-29 Last updated: 2017-01-17Bibliographically approved

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Enander, AnnBaez Ullberg, SusannHobbins, JenniferNilsson, Sofia
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Citation style
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