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Chapter 16: Incentives and wildfire management in the United States


Donovan, Geoffrey H.; Brown, Thomas C.; Dale, Lisa. 2008. Chapter 16: Incentives and wildfire management in the United States. In: Holmes, Thomas P.; Prestemon, Jeffrey P.; Abt, Karen L., eds. Forestry Sciences, Vol. 79: The Economics of Forest Disturbances - Wildfires, Storms and Invasive Species. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer. p. 323-340.

A recent series of severe fire seasons in the United States has contributed to sharply rising wildfire suppression costs. These increasing costs have caught the attention of policy makers, but so far the responses have not focused clearly on the incentive structures that allow or encourage rising costs (National Academy of Public Administration 2002). We analyze the problem of rising suppression costs by examining the incentive structures faced by fire managers. Specifically, we examine the influence of wildfire suppression funding mechanisms on managers' behavior. The rationale for this approach is that fire managers have a good deal of control over suppression costs; they, like other people, respond to incentives; and thus it is through a change in those incentives that fire managers are most likely to change their behavior.

Keywords: wildfire management, suppression costs


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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Chapter 16: Incentives and wildfire management in the United States
Electronic Publish Date: April 9, 2009
Last Update:
April 9, 2009

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