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Environmental Governance and Climate Resilience 2020: Wildfires

Forest Service via Flickr
July 9, 2020

The Bill Lane Center for the American West revived its Workshop on Wildfire Management, originally planned for mid-March, via a virtual format. Speakers explored the challenges of preparing for and responding to wildfires during the coronavirus pandemic for a practitioner audience. During our June 25 panel, we discussed training and safety among first responders battling wildfires during a pandemic. Our June 30 keynote featured Dr. Sarah McCaffrey of the U.S. Forest Service exploring why homeowners take active steps to mitigate their fire risk and offers recommendations for community preparedness. Our final panel on July 9 explored the human dimensions of responding to wildfires in the face of COVID-19, including evacuations, shelters, and government coordination.




Panel, June 25: Wildfire Management and Preparation during the COVID-19 Pandemic


  • Don Gordon, Assistant Deputy Director, Cooperative Fire, Training, and Safety, CALFire
  • Daryl L. Osby, Fire Chief, Los Angeles County Fire Department


  • Rebecca Miller, PhD Candidate, E-IPER

Keynote, June 30: What Motivates Homeowners to Mitigate Fire Risk? Lessons from Social Science


  • Sarah McCaffrey, Research Forester, USFS

Panel, July 9: Preparedness and Recovery: The Human Dimensions of Wildfires


  • Alma Bowen, Executive Director, Nuestra Comunidad
  • Charles Brooks, Executive Director, Rebuild Paradise Foundation
  • Luke Beckman, Division Disaster State Relations Director, American Red Cross


  • Rebecca Miller, PhD Candidate, E-IPER


Student Work

Students produced original research for the Winter 2020 course, "Environmental Governance and Climate Resilience," taught by Professors Bruce E. Cain and Len Ortolano. Each group dove head first into a topic related to Wildfire preparation, mitigation, or recovery as it relates to the Bay Area. 


Topic Members Headline File Download
Anpothowin Jensen, Lorelay Mendoza
Wildfire Prevention Grant Writing
PDF Powerpoint
Marin Joint Projects Agreement
Brooke Hale, Liqian Zhang, Poppy Brittingham
Marin Joint Projects Agreement: A Case Study
PDF Powerpoint
Erica Bower
To Rebuild or Move? Understanding Post-Disaster Migration Decision-Making of Santa Rosa Residents Displaced by the 2017 Tubbs Fire
PDF Powerpoint
Social Media
Kate Borden, Nikoonj Dhandaria, Xinle (Grace) Yao
Benefits and Challenges of Using Social Media Platforms for Wildfire Related Purposes
PDF Powerpoint
Tianheng Shi, Niranjana Rajagopalan, Yifan Cheng
Response: Technology Advances in Firefighting; Feasible technology strategy for Souty Bay Counties
PDF Powerpoint
Wildfire Insurance Amelia O'Donohue, Jordan Brinn
Can Home Hardening Save Home Insurance for Californians?
PDF Powerpoint
Wildfire Preparedness and Vulnerable Communities
Pamela Beltran, Jenny Hamilton, Binita Thapa, Megan Yen
Effective Strategies for Aiding Latinx Communities in Sonoma County Wildfires
PDF Powerpoint
Wildfire Spread Modeling
Yuping Li, Shurong Liang, Louis (Jiaokun) Liu, Samuel Sung, Emma Velterop
Wildfire Spread Modeling Based on Rothermel's Quasi-Empirical Approach; Wildfire Spread Modeling: Deep Learning Approach
PDF Powerpoint