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Estudios Socioterritoriales

On-line version ISSN 1853-4392


JAQUE CASTILLO, Edilia; CASTILLO, Claudia; OJEDA LEAL, Carolina  and  DIAZ, Patricio. Educational vulnerability to wild fires in the Metropolitan Area of Conception: Case study: Penco, Chile. Estudios Socioterritoriales [online]. 2019, vol.25. ISSN 1853-4392.

The wildfire hazard in Chile has been intensified in recent decades because of the insertion of the urban centers, and with them the educational centers, in a homogeneous forest matrix. The vulnerability of the educational community in the municipality of Penco, belonging to the Metropolitan Area of Concepción (AMC), is studied in this article. This vulnerability was analyzed by an adaptation of the Etxeverría model (2002) looking for the wildfire hazard through covering variables of natural origin (flammability, insolation, altitude) and anthropic variables (soil cover, built infrastructure, controlled burning). This was assessed through Likert-scale surveys to the educational communities of six schools in the commune (1,850 subjects) with different socioeconomic levels completing a matrix of educational vulnerability. This matrix measured the information that subjects have about the wildfire hazard and its prevention - evacuation. The main result was the wildfire hazard map of Penco urban area, which shows that the high hazard is close to 40%, the average threat reaches 38% and only 22% reaches a low fire hazard level. There is a lack of knowledge of the fire hazard in the community: only 14% recognizes this hazard as such, and only 20% distinguish the plans of evacuation before a wildfire, despite of the historical recurrence of this phenomenon in the zone. Penco lacks of a model of socio-natural disaster risk management, which can be seen in the 23% of responses that attribute the responsibility of managing the disaster to the municipality instead of central government or ONEMI.

Keywords : Wildfires; Hazard; Educational vulnerability; Chile.

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