A history of wildfires in Ireland (1850-2020) and its implications for contemporary climate change adaptation

Jeffers, J.M, Gonzalez, S, Harwood, A and Pulido-Sanchez, P (2022) A history of wildfires in Ireland (1850-2020) and its implications for contemporary climate change adaptation. In: American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, February 25 - March 1 2022, New York, USA [online].

Official URL: https://aag-annualmeeting.secure-platform.com/a

Abstract

The importance of historically informed research in the fields of natural hazards, disaster risk reduction, and climate change adaptation has been increasingly recognized in recent years. Scholars have used a variety of archival sources to examine how improved understandings of past hazards and disasters can be used to contextualize current risks, exposures and vulnerabilities. This presentation outlines ongoing research to construct a historical record of wildfires in Ireland from 1850 to 2020 through an examination of newspaper archives. Wildfires represent an often overlooked, neglected and understudied hazard in Ireland and northwestern Europe, where research and policy have tended to focus on more predominant hazards such as floods and windstorms. The frequency, spatial distribution, and causes of uncontrolled wildfires in Ireland remain understudied. This research reveals that wildfires have been a recurring hazard in Ireland for well over a century. Throughout this time period local communities have engaged with wildfire hazards in a variety of ways. A range of strategies have been employed both to reduce the frequency of fires events and to manage those that did occur. These strategies have evolved through time in association with social, cultural, economic and political changes. This history of complex human-environment interactions can offer important lessons for contemporary adaptation.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: hazard, climate change, adaptation, wildfire, history, Ireland
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: School of Sciences
Research Centres and Groups: Hazard, Risk and Disaster Research Group
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2022 10:31
Last Modified: 17 May 2022 10:48
URI / Page ID: http://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/14605
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