USDA Forest Service

Economic Aspects of Forest Management on Public Lands


Mailing Address:

Forestry Sciences Lab
800 E. Beckwith Ave
Missoula, Montana 59801

(406) 542-4150

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

Expenditures on Large Wildland Fires

The Conference Report on HR 4818, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005 requires the development of suppression expenditure performance metrics based on a "stratified cost index", which will compare actual expenditures on large wildland fires to what we would expect the fire to cost given certain characteristics, such as size, fuel type, proximity to towns, etc. Fires with extremely high, or low, expenditures compared to what was expected, would be flagged for further review. Further review of these fires could provide important information on factors influencing suppression expenditures, some of which may be able to be modified, thereby resulting in lower suppression expenditures. RMRS-4802 is currently developing regression models for the Forest Service using data on 1600 fires from FYs 1995-2004. These models will be used to flag FY 2005 fires having actual expenditures that deviate substantially from their expected expenditures. These regression equations could also be used to provide estimates of suppression expenditures for use in the wildland fire decision support system and FPA.


Principal Investigators:
Krista Gebert
David Calkin

Cooperator: Jonathan Yoder, Washington State University

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