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Incentives and Timing of Prescribed Fire for Wildfire Risk Management

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Prescribed fire use for wildfire fuel reduction entails trading one risk for another. Because these risks change over time as vegetation matures, prescribed fire use for wildfire risk mitigation can be viewed as a timing problem. We examine economic incentives for prescribed fire timing and use on the wildland-urban interface, the problem of heavy initial fuel loads from years of suppression and fuel accumulation, and the effect of liability, public suppression, and other factors on fuel management incentives. We conclude with a number of broad policy recommendations.

Keywords: environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources; optimal timing; prescribed fire; vegetation management; wildfire; wildfire fuel management

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Assistant Professor School of Economic Sciences Washington State University PO Box 646210 111J Hulbert Hall Pullman WA 99164, Email: 2: Professor and Chair Department of Natural Resource Sciences Washington State University Pullman

Publication date: September 1, 2004

More about this publication?
  • 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.
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