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Progress towards and barriers to implementation of a risk framework for US federal wildland fire policy and decision making

Posted date: July 03, 2013
Publication Year: 
2011
Authors: Calkin, Dave E.Finney, Mark A.; Ager, Alan A.; Thompson, Matthew P.; Gebert, Krista M.
Publication Series: 
Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Source: Forest Policy and Economics. 13(5): 378-389.

Abstract

In this paper we review progress towards the implementation of a riskmanagement framework for US federal wildland fire policy and operations. We first describe new developments in wildfire simulation technology that catalyzed the development of risk-based decision support systems for strategic wildfire management. These systems include new analytical methods to measure wildfire risk to human and ecological values and to inform fuel treatment investment strategies at national, regional, and local scales. Application of the risk management framework to support wildfire incidents has been dramatically advanced with the Wildland Fire Decision Support System and allowed policy modifications that encourage management of incidents for multiple objectives. The new wildfire risk management decision support systems we discuss provide Federal agencies in the US the ability to integrate risk-informed approaches to a wide range of wildfire management responsibilities and decisions. While much progress has been made, there remain several barriers that need to be addressed to fully integrate risk science into current wildfire management practices. We conclude by identifying five primary issues that if properly addressed could help public land management better realize the opportunities and potential payoffs from fully adopting a risk management paradigm.

Citation

Calkin, David C.; Finney, Mark A.; Ager, Alan A.; Thompson, Matthew P.; Gebert, Krista M. 2011. Progress towards and barriers to implementation of a risk framework for US federal wildland fire policy and decision making. Forest Policy and Economics. 13(5): 378-389.