There is little doubt that changes in climate will affect wildlands, wildland fire, and suppression of fire (Abatzoglou and Kolden 2013, Abt et al. 2009, Flannigan et al. 2005, Flannigan et al. 2006, Flannigan et al. 2016, Littell et al. 2009, Littell at al. 2016, Liu et al. 2014, McKenzie et al. 2016, Mitchell et al. 2014, Prestemon et al. 2009, Riley et al. 2019, Westerling et al. 2006). Direct increases in area burned and numbers of large fires, resulting from more days with extreme fire weather, longer periods of sequential days with extreme fire weather, and longer fire seasons in many parts of the world are to be expected (Abatzoglou et al. 2021, Gao et al. 2021, Jolly et al. 2015, Lenihan et al. 2003, Riley and Loehman 2016). Natural ignition patterns may change with shifting storm tracks and lightning occurrence (Romps et al. 2014), and there are likely to be changes in human ignition patterns due to land use change. Using an approach similar to that used in Hope et al. (2016), this analysis evaluates an aggregate set of data on US Federal wildfire area burned and Federal suppression expenditures and projects both area burned and expenditures to calculate the effect of climate on Federal area burned and Federal expenditures in mid-century (2041-2059) and late-century (2081-2099). We evaluate area burned and wildfire suppression expenditures for both the USDA Forest Service (FS) and the US Department of the Interior (DOI). The FS and DOI were modeled separately because their management objectives differ, as did data availability.
USDA Forest Service. 2022. Technical Appendix: Climate Risk Exposure: Federal Wildfire and Suppression Expenditures. Research and Development, USDA Forest Service. In: White House Office of Management and Budget, Climate Risk Exposure: An Assessment of the Federal Government’s Financial Risks to Climate Change. P. 66-118