Wildfire Economics: new information & approach

Below is some information sent out today by Dr. Bob Zyback, PhD, Program Manager of the Oregon Websites & Watersheds Project, Inc.

Here is a link to a new article and analytical tool I coauthored with three other experts in forestry and wildfire science:


Our basic finding is that the US experiences 10 to 50 times more costs and losses due to wildfire every year than the $1-2 billion in suppression costs commonly reported by USFS representatives and the media — that is, US taxpayers are losing $20-$100 billion (or more) a year in such wildfire related damages as escalating fire management costs, human deaths, public health problems, air pollution, soil degradation, wildlife habitat destruction, structural damage, water pollution, etc.

Our article provides several recent examples to support this claim and — more importantly — offers a developing methodology for better accounting of these damages in order to lessen their impacts via better preparedness, improved fire management, and efficient mitigation actions.

We believe this information is important and timely and may lead directly to the savings of many lives, homes, and public and private resources. Our intended audience is foresters and fire managers, public media, elected county officials, and interested public: US taxpayers. Our intended purpose is to reduce dangers and damages resulting from these predictable (and often preventable) events, via education, research, and field application.

Please consider this information and pass on to others whom you feel may be interested, or might otherwise benefit, from our findings and recommendations.


Dr. Bob Zybach, PhD


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