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Discovery
Why People Live in Wildfire Zones

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Photo of a California neighborhood devastated by a wildfire in October 2007.

Even after seeing images like this one where wildfire tore through a scenic California neighborhood in October last year, some people will continue to live in high risk areas because they so love the beauty associated with them.

Credit: Andrea Booher/FEMA


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Photo of psychology professor Paul Slovic of the University of Oregon.

Paul Slovic, professor of psychology at the University of Oregon and co-founder/president of Decision Research in Eugene, Ore., says understanding risks in a democratic society means understanding that there are multiple perspectives that should be considered when making risk decisions.

Credit: Jim Barlow, University of Oregon


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Photo of community in La Conchita, Calif., that was damaged by landslides in January 2005.

Researchers have identified characteristics that lead people to either overestimate or underestimate the risks of living in communities with known hazards such as landslides. This community in La Conchita, Calif., was damaged by landslides in January 2005.

Credit: John Shea/FEMA


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