Determinants of perceived risk and liability concerns associated with prescribed burning in the United States

Omkar Joshi, Neelam C. Poudyal, John R. Weir, Samuel D. Fuhlendorf, Thomas O. Ochuodho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


While prescribed burning is a proven tool in the management of forests and grasslands, its use has been limited due, in part, to potential risks that may result in legal liability, property damage, and personal injury. The purpose of this study is to understand the factors that shape landowners’ and fire professionals’ perceptions of risks associated with prescribed burning activities. The data for this study were collected from active prescribed fire professionals involved in Prescribed Burn Association (PBA) activities in 14 Southern and Mid-western states. Perceived risk was higher among respondents with higher levels of concern related to safety and weather but lower among respondents with more experience in burning activities. Sociodemographic variables such as age and income were not significantly correlated with risk perception. These findings are useful for better understanding how landowners and fire professionals perceive risk and offer insight into how perceived risk affects decisions to apply prescribed burns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-385
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
StatePublished - Jan 15 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd


  • Landowners
  • Prescribed Burn Association (PBA)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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