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

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Abstract:

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.

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: decalkin@fs.fed.us 2: Economist Rocky Mountain Research Station USDA Forest Service 800 East Beckwith Missoula MT 59801, Email: kgebert@fs.fed.us 3: Research Forester Rocky Mountain Research Station USDA Forest Service 800 East Beckwith Missoula MT 59801, Email: jgjones@fs.fed.us 4: Bioclimatologist Pacific Northwest Research Station USDA Forest Service 3200 S.W. Jefferson Way Corvallis OR 97331, Email: rneilson@fs.fed.us

Publication date: June 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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