Getting burned: a taxpayer's guide to wildfire suppression costs
Document Type: Book
Author(s): T. Ingalsbee
Publication Year: 2010

Cataloging Information

  • climate change
  • fire control
  • fire damage (property)
  • fire equipment
  • fire hazard reduction
  • fire management
  • fire protection
  • fire retardants
  • fire size
  • fire suppression
  • fire suppression (aerial)
  • firefighting personnel
  • fuel accumulation
  • fuel loading
  • fuel management
  • health factors
  • land management
  • mortality
  • prescribed fires (escaped)
  • privatization
  • public information
  • rate of spread
  • roads
  • season of fire
  • Smokey Bear program
  • statistical analysis
  • suppression
  • thinning
  • US Forest Service
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 48996
Tall Timbers Record Number: 25265
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


From the text (p. 34) ... 'Given the fact that climate change will cause many wildfires to burn larger and longer, the real issue in the near future will not be cost reduction or even cost containment, but rather, cost management. Expenditures may still remain high as the amount of burned acres continues to grow up to a predicted 10-12 million acres per year. Indeed, there are sound arguments for actually increasing appropriated budgets for federal fire management. However, on both economic and ecological grounds, the conventional 'warfare' approach to 'fighting' fire is inefficient, ineffective, irrational, and unsustainable. If the Cohesive Strategy supports the Obama Administration's progressive reforms of the Federal Fire Management Policy, then future wildfires will be appropriately managed in ways that maximize the social and ecological benefits of burning, while minimizing firefighter risks, property damages, and taxpayer costs. Using wildfires to achieve long-term fuels reduction and ecosystem restoration goals will make the expense of managing wildfires become more like investments in ecosystem restoration and land stewardship rather than 'costs.' Bur, it all depends upon federal agencies taking this historic opportunity to complete the paradigm shift from 'fire control to fire management,' and change the focus from fighting against fire to working and living with fire. One thing seems clear: over the last century fire control was itself out of control, breaking the bank and subverting the conservationist missions of federal agencies. Any effort to contain or control costs must begin with the economically and ecologically rationale step of controlling the over-use of overaggressive wildfire suppression, instilling more accountability in agencies and creating more incentives for fire managers to implement the most socially and ecologically appropriate management responses to wildfire.' © 2010 by Timothy Ingalsbee.

Ingalsbee, T. 2010. Getting burned: a taxpayer's guide to wildfire suppression costs. Eugene, OR, FUSEE [Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics, & Ecology].