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VAR Calculation Tool


VAR stands for Values-at-Risk. The VAR Calculation Tool aids with assessing post-fire values-at-risk, including but not limited to human life and safety, infrastructure damage, and environmental effects.

Overview and Applicability

The VAR Calculation Tool aids with assessing post-fire values-at-risk.
The VAR Calculation Tool aids with assessing post-fire values-at-risk.

Current post-fire assessment procedures require the identification and valuation of values-at-risk (VAR) from potential secondary effects of wildfire. These values include human life and safety, cultural and ecological resources, land use, and existing infrastructures at risk from possible increased runoff, erosion, flooding, sedimentation, and vulnerability to invasive weeds.

However, the valuation of VAR, especially non-market resource values, is a complex process that exceeds the time and expertise available to most BAER/ESR users. Therefore, we developed a framework to standardize and simplify the complex valuation task in the context of post-fire assessment and treatment recommendation. The spreadsheet-based VAR Calculation Tool supports this VAR valuation framework.


  1. Enter the identification and classification of VAR - life and safety; non-market; or market. For market VAR, include the estimated cost to repair, replace, or restore and/or the valuation of the loss of use

  2. Enter the threat assessment, including the probability that the threat will occur, providing a spatial link to VAR

  3. Find the VAR Area Map, made by grouping related VAR-threat associations into Map Zones

  4. Include potential treatment recommendations, including costs of treatments and probabilities of threat occurring after the treatment has been implemented


  • Benefit/cost ratios

  • Implied Minimum Value of the identified VAR

  • Organized and summarized justification for recommended treatment expenditures


Robichaud, Pete. VAR Calculation Tool. Available online at

Release Notes

v. 8.0.1 (1.2 MB .xls Excel spreadsheet)


Calkin, David E. ; Hyde, Kevin D. ; Robichaud, Peter R. ; Jones, J. Greg ; Ashmun, Louise E. ; Loeffler Dan, , 2007