This report summarizes the accumulated impacts and associated costs of wildfires at the local, state, and federal level.
economic impacts of fire
Wildfire’s economic, ecological and social impacts are on the rise, fostering the realisation that business-as-usual fire management in the United States is not sustainable.
Wildland firefighting in the United States is a complex and costly enterprise. While there are strong seasonal signatures for fire occurrence in specific regions of the United States, spatiotemporal occurrence of wildfire activity can have high inter-annual variability.
The Fremont-Winema National Forest and the Lakeview Stewardship Group were awarded funding under the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration (CFLR) Program in 2012 for the 662,289 acre Lakeview Stewardship Project. The CFLR Program, administered by the U.S.
Wildfire activity in the United States incurs substantial costs and losses, and presents challenges to federal, state, tribal and local agencies that have responsibility for wildfire management. Beyond the potential socioeconomic and ecological losses, and the monetary costs to taxpayers due to suppression, wildfire management is a dangerous occupation.
Over 1200 post-fire assessment and treatment implementation reports from four decades (1970s–2000s) of western US forest fires have been examined to identify decadal patterns in fire characteristics and the justifications and expenditures for the post-fire treatments.
The Dry Forest Investment Zone (DFIZ) is a five-year project to address common natural resource-based economic development challenges through increased networking and capacity building at a regional scale.
Where a legacy of aggressive wildland fire suppression has left forests in need of fuel reduction, allowing wildland fire to burn may provide fuel treatment benefits, thereby reducing suppression costs from subsequent fires. The least-cost-plus-net-value-change model of wildland fire economics includes benefits of wildfire in a framework for evaluating suppression options.
Contracting capacity and local capture can be the result of local economic conditions (supply side conditions) as well as agency contracting practices (demand side conditions). In order to capture contracts locally, local businesses that can perform the work need to exist, and past experience contracting with the federal government is a reasonable indicator of that capacity.
Although fire managers, policymakers, and communities are benefiting from better understanding of suppression costs, property losses, and community impacts of large fires,4 no generalizable empirical research has quantified the specific effect of large wildfires on local employment and wages.