Spatial interaction in wildfire risk management decisions

  • Authors: Busby, Gwen; Geiger, Richelle; Mercer, Evan
  • Publication Year: 2019
  • Publication Series: Paper (invited, offered, keynote)
  • Source:


In recent years, wildfires have become increasingly destructive and costly. With a growing population living in the wildland urban interface—the area where forests and human development meet and intermix—the level risk-mitigation on the landscape comes, increasingly, from the sum of the uncoordinated actions of individual landowners. Fuel treatments allow landowners to pay to reduce forest fuels and, in turn, the severity of wildfire damage. Because wildfire spreads across the landscape and ownership boundaries, risk is determined by the spatial pattern of these fuel treatments. To understand the risk of wildfire damage on a landscape, therefore, we must first understand how landowners’ risk-mitigating decisions interact. We address the spatial dimension inherent in the wildfire risk management problem with an econometric model that incorporates spatial interactions across landowners. Using fuel treatment data from Florida, USA, we empirically test our spatial econometric model to determine whether landowner interaction is characterized by cooperation or free riding and how ownership fragmentation influences decisions.

  • Citation: Busby, Gwen; Geiger, Richelle; Mercer, Evan. 2014. Spatial interactions in wildfire risk management decisions. Selected paper presented at the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association 2014 AAEA Annual meeting, Minneapolis, MN, July 27-29, 2014. 15 pages.
  • Posted Date: May 30, 2019
  • Modified Date: May 30, 2019
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