Cameron Peak Fire

Residents’ Perspectives on Communication and Management Strategies During the Cameron Peak Fire

The 2020 Cameron Peak Fire burned more than 200,000 acres of public and private land west of Fort Collins, Colorado. Extreme and unpredictable fire behavior was driven by dense and dry fuels, steep terrain, high temperatures and winds, and other factors, which greatly affected the range of potential management strategies. Many different communities were affected by the fire from smoke, repeated and long-term evacuations, emotional distress, and property impacts.

Above: Area impacted by the Cameron Peak Fire. Photo by Chad Kooistra.

In conjunction with the USDA Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS), we conducted research on public perspectives of the fire to help inform future communication techniques and approaches to forest and fire management. In summer 2021, we interviewed more than 50 landowners and residents across communities directly impacted by the fire. Our goals were to understand people’s attitudes on communication and fire management strategies, their perspectives on fire impacts and post-fire landscape recovery, and their support for future forest and fire management approaches.

See our Project Overview for more information.


View the recording of our January 19, 2022 webinar below for an overview of our main research findings. To see presentation slides from the webinar, click here. If you prefer to watch on YouTube, click here.

A research brief and manuscript will be posted here when they become available.

Contact Information

Contact PersonEmail
Chad Kooistra
Research Associate
Public Lands Policy Group
Colorado State University
Sarah McCaffrey
Research Social Scientist
USDA Rocky Mountain Research Station