Document


Title

Do fuel treatments reduce wildfire suppression costs and property damages? Analysis of suppression costs and property damages in U.S. National Forests
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): John B. Loomis ; José J. Sanchez ; Armando González-Cabán ; Douglas B. Rideout ; Robin M. Reich
Editor(s): Armando González-Cabán ; José J. Sanchez
Publication Year: 2019

Cataloging Information

Keyword(s):
  • fire suppression costs
  • fuel reduction
  • mechanical fuel reduction
  • property damage
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: May 24, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 57874

Description

This paper reports the results of two hypotheses tests regarding whether fuel reduction treatments using prescribed burning and mechanical methods reduces wildfire suppression costs and property damages. To test these two hypotheses data was collected on fuel treatments, fire suppression costs and property damages associated with wildfires on United States National Forests over a five year period. Results of the multiple regressions show that only in California did mechanical fuel treatment reduce wildfire suppression costs. However, the results of our second hypothesis tests that fuel treatments, by making wildfires less damaging and easier to control, may reduce property damages (i.e., structures—barns, out buildings, etc. and residences lost) seems to be confirmed for acres treated with prescribed burning. In three out of the three geographic regions of the U.S. which experienced significant property losses, prescribed burning lowered the number of structures damaged by wildfire.

Online Link(s):
Citation:
Loomis, John; Sánchez, José J.; González-Cabán, Armando; Rideout, Douglas; Reich, Robin. 2019. Do fuel treatments reduce wildfire suppression costs and property damages? Analysis of suppression costs and property damages in U.S. National Forests. Pages 70-84. In: González-Cabán, Armando; Sánchez, José J. (technical editors). Proceedings of the fifth international symposium on fire economics, planning, and policy: ecosystem services and wildfires. General Technical Report PSW-GTR-261 (English). Albany, CA: USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station.