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May 14, 2024

James Meldrum is lead author on a collaborator report published by the USDA Forest Service covering work with the City of Santa Fe Fire Department and other partners, seeking to understand and promote property-level wildfire risk mitigation in Santa Fe communities. The report describes the results of a systematic data collection process in 2021 and insights for partners' programs and outreach.

Living with Wildfire Series

This is the 20th report in an on-going series of Rocky Mountain Research Station "Research Notes" that detail Wildfire Research (WiRē) Team projects with fire departments and communities. To date, WiRē has helped 23 partner communities complete 26,358 property-level wildfire risk assessments and implement 8,153 household surveys of perceived wildfire risk to homes. The purpose of these projects is to encourage wildfire risk mitigation on private properties by empowering local communities to collect their own data and use that data in local wildfire risk education programs. Each report describes the partner-driven data collection efforts and provides a detailed description of the results. In addition to publishing results in this report, typical WiRē projects result in numerous outputs tailored to partners' needs as well as contributing to broader academic and policy-relevant discussions. View the full Living with Wildfire Document Series.  

Living with Wildfire: Sante Fe 

For the Santa Fe project, the WiRē team worked closely with the City of the Sante Fe Fire Department to implement rapid assessments of property-level wildfire risk and household surveys to gather perceptions of households of the same attributes measured in the rapid assessments. Household surveys also gather other perspectives related to homeowners’ preparation for wildfire, such as their engagement with different information sources and responses to incentives. Outputs of this collaboration included presentations to numerous specific stakeholder audiences including the City of Santa Fe Mayor and Fire Department leadership, the Santa Fe Fireshed Coalition, Santa Fe Fireshed Ambassadors, and a general community event titled the "Ready, Set, Go Wildfire Preparedness Workshop." Partners also used these data to develop a website describing key results. Sante Fe residents can use this website to view wildfire risk across their community, and to learn about methods for reducing property-level wildfire risk. 

Photo of a seated group of people in a room, facing a screen. Presenters are at the front of room, near the screen.
James Meldrum presents information on community preparedness for wildfire – results of a study conducted with the City of Santa Fe Fire Department – to Santa Fe, New Mexico community members, May 2023. 


About James and WiRē

FORT economist James Meldrum is a founding member of the Wildfire Research (WiRē) Team, which includes colleagues from the Bureau of Land Management, USDA Forest Service, University of Colorado, and the Wildfire Research (WiRē) Center.  He is now serving on the Advisory Committee for the WiRē Center, and actively participates in individual projects with partners and associated research investigations. Read more about WiRē’s mission, goals, projects, and partners in their 2023 Annual Report.

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