Efficient and Equitable Design of Wildfire Mitigation Programs
Natural resource economists have addresssed the economic effienciency of expenditures on wildfire mitigation for nearly a century (Gope and Gorte 1979). Beginning with the work of Sparhawk (1925), the theory of efficent wildfire mitigation developed alolng conceptual lines drawn form neoclassical economics. The objective of the traditional least-cost-plus-loss model is to minimize the sum of ex ante expenditures on fire prevention (pre-suppression), the costs of fire suppression, and the ex post cost of economic damages. In the closely related benefit/cost model, the objective is to minimize the sum of damages avoided (the benefits) minus presuppression and suppression costs. Both models assume that an increase in pre-suppression expenditures decreases supppression costs and economic damages (Figure1).