You are here

Hazardous fuel treatments, suppression cost impacts, and risk mitigation

Posted date: September 17, 2013
Publication Year: 
2013
Authors: Thompson, Matthew P.Hand, Michael; Gilbertson-Day, Julie W.; Vaillant, Nicole M.; Nalle, Darek J.
Publication Series: 
General Technical Report (GTR)
Source: In: González-Cabán, Armando, tech. coord. Proceedings of the fourth international symposium on fire economics, planning, and policy: climate change and wildfires. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-245 (English). Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 66-80
Note: This article is part of a larger document.

Abstract

Land management agencies face uncertain tradeoffs regarding investments in preparedness and fuels management versus future suppression costs and impacts to valued resources and assets. Prospective evaluation of fuel treatments allows for comparison of alternative treatment strategies in terms of socioeconomic and ecological impacts, and can facilitate tradeoff analysis. This presentation will demonstrate recently developed methodologies for estimating potential suppression cost impacts of fuel treatments. The approach pairs wildfire simulation outputs with a regression cost model, estimating the influence of fuel treatments on distributions of wildfire size and suppression cost. A case study focuses on a landscape within the Deschutes National Forest in central Oregon, USA, and results suggest substantial treatment effects. An auxiliary analysis demonstrates the impacts of fuel treatments in terms of reduced exposure of values at risk, to quantify the broader potential benefits of fuel treatments. Effectiveness of treatments in the case study is contingent on large-scale implementation of fuel treatments across the landscape, and sufficient maintenance to ensure treatment effectiveness over the duration of the analysis period. Future applications and integration with other modeling approaches will be highlighted.

Citation

Thompson, Matthew P.; Hand, Michael S.; Gilbertson-Day, Julie W.; Vaillant, Nicole M.; Nalle, Darek J. 2013. Hazardous fuel treatments, suppression cost impacts, and risk mitigation. In: González-Cabán, Armando, tech. coord. Proceedings of the fourth international symposium on fire economics, planning, and policy: climate change and wildfires. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-245 (English). Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 66-80.