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Assessing the Accuracy of Wildland Fire Situation Analysis (WFSA) Fire Size and Suppression Cost Estimates

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Abstract:

To determine the optimal suppression strategy for escaped wildfires, federal land managers are required to conduct a wildland fire situation analysis (WFSA). As part of the WFSA process, fire managers estimate final fire size and suppression costs. Estimates from 58 WFSAs conducted during the 2002 fire season are compared to actual outcomes. Results indicate that estimates of fire size and suppression costs are systematically biased. Modifications to the WFSA process are suggested to address these problems.

Keywords: WFSA; economics; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources; probability; suppression; wildfire

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Research Forester PNW Research Station 620 SW Main, Suite 400 Portland OR 97205, Email: gdonovan@fs.fed.us 2: Research Assistant PNW Research Station 620 SW Main, Suite 400 Portland OR 97205

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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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