International Journal of Wildland Fire International Journal of Wildland Fire Society
Journal of the International Association of Wildland Fire

Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

A Review of Challenges to Determining and Demonstrating Efficiency of Large Fire Management

Matt Thompson , Francisco Rodriguez y Silva , David Calkin , Michael Hand

Abstract

Characterizing the impacts of wildland fire and fire suppression is critical information for fire management decision making. Here we focus on decisions related to the relatively rare large and long-duration fire events, where the scope and scale of decision making can be far broader than initial response efforts, and where determining and demonstrating efficiency of strategies and actions can be particularly troublesome. We organize our review around key decision factors such as context, complexity, alternatives, consequences, and uncertainty, and for illustration contrast fire management in Andalusia, Spain and Montana, USA. Two of the largest knowledge gaps relate to quantifying fire impacts to ecosystem services, and modeling relationships between fire management activities and avoided damages. The relative magnitude of these and other concerns varies with the complexity of the socioecological context in which fire management decisions are made. To conclude our review we examine topics for future research, including expanded use of the economics toolkit to better characterize the productivity and effectiveness of suppression actions, integration of ecosystem modeling with economic principles, and stronger adoption of risk and decision analysis within fire management decision making.

WF16137  Accepted 15 March 2017

© CSIRO 2017