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    Federal land management agencies in the United States are increasingly relying on contract crews as opposed to agency fire crews. Despite this increasing reliance on contractors, there have been no studies to determine what the optimal mix of contract and agency fire crews should be. A mathematical model is presented to address this question and is applied to a case study from the Pacific Northwest. Results show that the optimal number of agency crews is sensitive to assumptions about fire season severity and the availability of alternative work for agency crews on nonsuppression days.

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    Donovan, Geoffrey H. 2006. Determining the optimal mix of federal and contract fire crews: a case study from the Pacific Northwest. Ecological Modelling. 194: 372-378


    Wildfire, fire crews, optimization, Pacific Northwest, suppression

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