Application of an original wildfire smoke health cost benefits transfer protocol to the western US, 2005-2015
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Benjamin A. Jones; Robert P. Berrens
Publication Year: 2017

Cataloging Information

  • air quality
  • benefit transfer
  • BenMAP Community Edition
  • California wildfires
  • cities
  • economic cost
  • forecasting system
  • health costs
  • health factors
  • mortality
  • smoke exposure
  • southern California
  • verification
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: October 31, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 55667
Tall Timbers Record Number: 33741
TTRS Location Status: Not in file
TTRS Call Number: Available
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use

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.


Recent growth in the frequency and severity of US wildfires has led to more wildfire smoke and increased public exposure to harmful air pollutants. Populations exposed to wildfire smoke experience a variety of negative health impacts, imposing economic costs on society. However, few estimates of smoke health costs exist and none for the entire Western US, in particular, which experiences some of the largest and most intense wildfires in the US. The lack of cost estimates is troublesome because smoke health impacts are an important consideration of the overall costs of wildfire. To address this gap, this study provides the first time series estimates of PM2.5 smoke costs across mortality and several morbidity measures for the Western US over 2005-2015. This time period includes smoke from several megafires and includes years of record-breaking acres burned. Smoke costs are estimated using a benefits transfer protocol developed for contexts when original health data are not available. The novelty of our protocol is that it synthesizes the literature on choices faced by researchers when conducting a smoke cost benefit transfer. On average, wildfire smoke in the Western US creates $165 million in annual morbidity and mortality health costs. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017.

Online Link(s):
Jones, B. A., and R. P. Berrens. 2017. Application of an original wildfire smoke health cost benefits transfer protocol to the western US, 2005-2015. Environmental Management, v. 60, no. 5, p. 809-822. 10.1007/s00267-017-0930-4.