Wildland firefighters on the scene of the Cabrillo Fire near Butano State Park. Image: Shutterstock/Santa Cruz Films, 2019.

Nearly one year ago, the Natural Hazards Center released a special call for quick response research to study wildfires that were then devastating communities across California. A year later, fires continue to damage and destroy homes and businesses along the West Coast.

Our thoughts go out to the hundreds of thousands affected by these devastating events, as well as those working to protect people and property. We know that when their job is done, the work of researchers to advance the understanding of why these fires are so prevalent and damaging—and what we can do about it—will be able to begin.

With that in mind, the Natural Hazards Center is again issuing a special call for quick response research related to the wildfires in California.

Proposals to collect perishable data related to the 2019 California Wildfires will be accepted from November 11 to November 25. All proposals will be evaluated simultaneously at the close of this window. Three to five research proposals of up to $3,000 will be funded. Funding notifications will be sent no later than December 31, 2019.

We know that many factors contribute to the magnitude of each wildfire season, but there is still much we do not know about how the lessons learned in previous fires are being integrated into planning and policy making. This special call for Quick Response Research Grant proposals will focus on funding studies that examine how past wildfires have shaped the mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery efforts in 2019.

Proposals that explore how we built on lessons from previous years, how past events created novel conditions in the current year, and how to better share the lessons we have already learned are appreciated. Overall, we seek to learn what can the 2019 California wildfire season can teach us that we do not already know.

Before submitting your proposal, please read the full program guidelines. The link to submit a proposal can be found at the bottom of the page. Funding requests should range from $1,500 to $3,000.

The Quick Response program is a National Science Foundation-supported initiative that provides small grants to help eligible researchers travel to disaster-stricken areas to collect perishable data. The program promotes social science and interdisciplinary innovation in disaster research. Graduate students, researchers new to the field, and interdisciplinary teams are encouraged to apply.

Please contact Jennifer Tobin at Jennifer.L.Tobin@Colorado.edu with any questions.