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The Effect of the Wildland-Urban Interface on Prescribed Burning Costs in the Pacific Northwestern United States

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The fire suppression policy on public lands during the last century in the United States has resulted in increased fuel loadings, necessitating the use of prescribed fire and mechanical treatments to decrease hazardous fuels and risks of catastrophic wildfire. While these practices are widespread, there is great variability in project costs, making planning difficult. Although previous studies have examined the factors that influence management costs, they have grappled with the lack of consistent and reliable data. We used the FASTRACS (Fuel Analysis, Smoke Tracking, and Report Access Computer System) database from the Pacific Northwest Region of the USDA Forest Service to identify important influences on fuels management costs. Projects conducted in the wildland-urban interface consistently exhibited higher treatment costs for both prescribed fire and mechanical fuels treatments.

Keywords: economics; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; fuels reduction; natural resource management; natural resources; prescribed burning; wildland-urban interface

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: MS Bozeman Montana, Email: 2: Associate Professor Department of Agricultural Economics University of Saskatchewan Saskatoon Canada, Email:

Publication date: 2004-09-01

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.476
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    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

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