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General Technical Report
Title: Risk in fire management decisionmaking: techniques and criteria
Author: Blatternberger, Gail; Hyde, William F.; Mills, Thomas J.
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-80. Berkeley, Calif.: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Exp. Stn. 9 p
Station ID: GTR-PSW-080
Description: In the past, decisionmaking in wildland fire management generally has not included a full consideration of the risk and uncertainty that is inherent in evaluating alternatives. Fire management policies in some Federal land management agencies now require risk evaluation. The model for estimating the economic efficiency of fire program alternatives is the minimization of the sum of fire management cost plus the fire-induced net value change in the resource outputs (C + NVC). Risk can be graphically displayed in this model by the addition of probability distributions about the C + NVC curve. Risk aversion, rather than risk neutrality or risk preference, is widely practiced in fire management, but attitudes toward risk can vary. Managers have greater flexibility in managing fire hazards than other natural hazards because their actions can take place before, during, and after the hazard event. This flexibility enhances their ability to be risk-neutral toward the fire hazard. Although data and measurement problems exist and model design is incomplete, an analytical evaluation of risk inherent in fire management alternatives is feasible.
Key Words: economic efficiency, expected value decisions, probabilities, risk, state preference, uncertainty
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Blatternberger, Gail; Hyde, William F.; Mills, Thomas J. 1984. Risk in fire management decisionmaking: techniques and criteria Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-80. Berkeley, Calif.: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Exp. Stn. 9 p.