Efficient and Equitable Design of Wildfire Mitigation Programs

Abstract

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).

  • Citation: Holmes, Thomas P.; Abt, Karen L.; Huggett Jr., Robert J.; Prestemon, Jeffrey P. 2007. Efficient and equitable design of wildfire mitigation programs. In: Daniel, T.C.; Carroll, M.; Moseley, C.; Raish, C., eds. People, Fire, and Forests: A Synthesis of Wildfire Social Science. Oregon State University Press: Corvallis. 143-156.

Requesting Print Publications

Publication requests are subject to availability. Fiscal responsibility limits the hardcopies of publications we produce and distribute. Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, distributed and printed.

Please make any requests at pubrequest@fs.fed.us.

Publication Notes

  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • Our online publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
  • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.