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Quantifying the potential impacts of fuel treatments on wildfire suppression costs volume

Posted date: September 15, 2014
Publication Year: 
2013
Authors: Thompson, Matthew P.; Vaillant, Nicole M.; Haas, Jessica R.; Gebert, Krista M.; Stockmann, Keith D.
Publication Series: 
Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Source: Fire Management Today. 73(2): 5-10.

Abstract

Modeling the impacts and effects of hazardous fuel reduction treatments is a pressing issue within the wildfire management community. Prospective evaluation of fuel treatments allows for comparison of alternative treatment strategies in terms of socioeconomic and ecological impacts and facilitates analysis of tradeoffs across land management objectives (Stockmann et al. 2010). While much attention has been focused on assessing how fuel treatments affect expected loss to highly valued resources and assets (e.g., Ager et al. 2007), some have also suggested benefits from fuel treatments in terms of avoided suppression costs (Snider et al. 2006). In this paper, we demonstrate a methodology for estimating potential reductions in wildfire suppression costs. Our approach pairs wildfire simulation outputs with a regression cost model and quantifies the influence of fuel treatments on distributions of wildfire sizes and suppression costs. Estimates of suppression cost reductions can ultimately be compared to treatment costs within a cost-benefit framework.

Citation

Thompson, Matthew P.; Vaillant, Nicole M.; Haas, Jessica R.; Gebert, Krista M.; Stockmann, Keith D. 2013. Quantifying the potential impacts of fuel treatments on wildfire suppression costs volume. Fire Management Today. 73(2): 5-10.