Chapter 15: Economic analysis of federal wildfire management programs
In the past two decades, there has been a significant increase in the number of acres burned by wildland fires and in the amount of money being spent to suppress these fires (Calkin et al. 2005a). With expenditures on suppression alone climbing to more than a billion dollars in four of the past seven years (2000-2006), the federal land management agencies are coming under ever increasing pressure by Congress and government oversight agencies to manage fire in a cost efficient manner. Economic analysis can benefit all fire-related programs and activities, and ignoring economic analysis in the wildland fire decision-making process, whether on a strategic or tactical level, can lead to wasted resources, poor outcomes, and higher-than-warranted expenditures.