Evaluating benefits and costs of wildland fires: Critical review and future applications

Mary Milne, Helena Clayton, Stephen Dovers, Geoffrey Cary

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The wildland fire sector faces increased frequency and size of fires and increasing community expectations and costs of management, and is turning more to economics to inform management and policy decisions. However, the literature on costs and benefits of wildland fires and their management is disparate and unstructured and requires critical review and synthesis to better inform potential users. We reviewed 60 economic studies to identify why, what and how evaluations were undertaken. We synthesised the results into a systematic framework of the types of economic evaluations and methods that can be undertaken to inform fire management and policy. We found that key challenges in undertaking economic evaluations include risk and uncertainty surrounding decisions, and data limitations. Most studies have focused on sector management-level decisions of pre-suppression and suppression activities, dominated by US applications. There are opportunities to undertake evaluations in other decision and geographic contexts.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)114-132
    JournalEnvironmental Hazards
    Volume13
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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