Wildfires in California, due to their scale, duration, and frequency, are high in the public’s awareness. In a late July early to August survey in Orange County, wildfires were second among the three top-rated environmental problems identified by residents. After the news reporting of the Lahaina fire in Maui on August 8, the wildfire response jumped 11 percentage points and moved wildfires ahead of drought/water supply, as the top environmental problem.
If extreme weather events such as drought and wildfire continue, public concern and desire for action will increase.
The survey concerning fire prevention and mitigation was conducted for an association of Orange County fire agencies and conservation groups by Ciruli Associates with YouGov America. The survey of 1000 residents was conducted from July 20 to August 27, 2023. A total of 573 interviews were conducted before the fire was reported on August 8, 2023, and 427 after. It had a margin of error of ±4.8 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.