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Effect of Suppression Strategies on Federal Wildland Fire Expenditures

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Policymakers and decisionmakers alike have suggested that the use of less aggressive suppression strategies for wildland fires might help stem the tide of rising emergency wildland fire expenditures. However, the interplay of wildland fire management decisions and expenditures is not well understood. In this study, we assess the effect of different fire management objectives and strategies on expenditures. Analyses of 1,330 US Forest Service and US Department of Interior fires from fiscal years (FYs) 2006‐2008 indicate that management objectives and strategies do affect costs, but the results vary both by agency and by the cost metric used. For instance, although less aggressive protection strategies may result in a lower cost per acre or daily cost, increased acreages or longer duration associated with less aggressive strategies may lead to total fire management costs that are either higher than or equal to more aggressive strategies.
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Keywords: costs; protection; regression analysis; resource benefit; wildland fire

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2012

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