Fire Prevention & Protection, Firefighting, Wildland Firefighting

Wildfire Investigation

Issue 8 and Volume 170.

Wildland fire costs vary from year to year, but over the past 15 years or so, the U.S. government has been spending about $3.5 billion annually for direct wildfire protection and suppression efforts.1,2 In addition, direct costs borne by state and local governments are estimated at $1 to $2 billion annually. (2) But, direct costs for wildfire protection and suppression are hugely outpaced by indirect costs, which are maybe tenfold as great. (1)3 Thus, a very rough estimate is an annual expenditure of $50 billion within the United States for coping with wildland fires. This is not as high as the total expenditures for fire safety associated with buildings,4 but it is nonetheless an enormous sum of money. For any category of losses, prudent risk management must consider the available strategies for decreasing the losses and implementing sufficiently cost-effective ones. In addition, in almost any category of economic activity, research…

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