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Forest Service Large Fire Area Burned and Suppression Expenditure Trends, 1970–2002

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Extreme fire seasons in recent years and associated high suppression expenditures have brought about a chorus of calls for reform of federal firefighting structure and policy. Given the political nature of the topic, a critical review of past trends in area burned, size of fires, and suppression expenditures is warranted. We examined data relating to emergency wildland fire suppression expenditures, number of fires, and acres burned and developed statistical models to estimate area burned using drought indices for the USDA Forest Service from 1970–2002.
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Keywords: Forest Service suppression expenditure trends; Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI); environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources; wildland fire

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Research Forester Rocky Mountain Research Station USDA Forest Service 800 East Beckwith Missoula MT 59801, Email: [email protected] 2: Economist Rocky Mountain Research Station USDA Forest Service 800 East Beckwith Missoula MT 59801, Email: [email protected] 3: Research Forester Rocky Mountain Research Station USDA Forest Service 800 East Beckwith Missoula MT 59801, Email: [email protected] 4: Bioclimatologist Pacific Northwest Research Station USDA Forest Service 3200 S.W. Jefferson Way Corvallis OR 97331, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 01 June 2005

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