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Applying Information Network Analysis to Fire-Prone Landscapes: Implications for Community Resilience

Resilient communities promote trust, have well-developed networks, and can adapt to change. For rural communities in fire-prone landscapes, current resilience strategies may prove insufficient in light of increasing wildfire risks due to climate change. It is argued that, given the complexity of climate change, adaptations are best addressed at local levels where specific social, cultural, political, and economic conditions are matched with local risks and opportunities. Despite the importance of social networks as key attributes of community resilience, research using social network analysis on coupled human and natural systems is scarce. Furthermore, the extent to which local communities in fire-prone areas understand climate change risks, accept the likelihood of potential changes, and have the capacity to develop collaborative mitigation strategies is underexamined, yet these factors are imperative to community resiliency. We apply a social network framework to examine information networks that affect perceptions of wildfire and climate change in Central Oregon.