Drivers of Wildfire Suppression Costs: A Review

TitleDrivers of Wildfire Suppression Costs: A Review
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsEllison, A
Series EditorMoseley, C
Series TitleBriefing Paper
Document Number66
Keywordsjfsp fire science briefs and digests, wildfire suppression

As federal spending on wildland fire suppression has increased dramatically in recent decades, significant policymaking has been designed, at least in part, to address and temper rising costs. Effective strategies for controlling public spending and leveraging limited wildfire management resources depend on a comprehensive understanding of the drivers of suppression costs. Problematically, frequently noted drivers often do not explain variability between similar wildfires or comparable wildfire seasons. As speculation and scrutiny around rising costs have increased, so too have scholarly investigations into a variety of influences on suppression costs. This review gathered and synthesized recent literature that examines how different variables affect wildfire suppression costs in order to present a more complete
understanding of what is known and not known about what drives suppression costs.