An Exploratory Framework to Assess Urban Wildfire Mitigation Policy in Austin Parks
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Purpose: This study develops a model to evaluate Austin's urban wilderness fire mitigation. Using the model, the study then uses case study methodology (document analysis and direct observation) to assess Austin's urban wilderness fire mitigation policy. The model has three components. First, the model identifies key components of urban wildfire mitigation policy. Second, it uses these components to assess wildfire mitigation policy and documents in the City of Austin. Third, the results of the study will make recommendations to improve wildfire safety in Austin.
Method: This research uses four working hypothesis (hazard area identification, forest management practices, the planning process, public education) that are framed to evaluate the urban wildfire mitigation policy of the City of Austin. The working hypothesis contains land use management methods and wildfire mitigation policies that can be found in scholarly literature. Each hypothesis and sub-hypothesis provides the framework to assess the City of Austin's Policy. The study assesses the City of Austin through the revised building code, the Community Wildfire Protection Plan, and direct observation.
Findings: This study found that the City of Austin adequately meets the suggested wildfire mitigation policies outlined in a review of scholarly literature. The study also made recommendations for the City to improve certain aspects of its policies to prevent urban wildfires.