Firefighting costs may double in 15 years

On July 31 we published the results of a study by Bob Zyback which concluded:

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.

Now there is another study which brings more bad news about the costs of fires. Here is an excerpt from the Missoulian, the entire article is HERE.

The cost of protecting homes from wildfires could more than double in the next 15 years due to a combination of continued housing development and increasing temperatures, according to a study by Headwaters Economics.

Higher average temperatures would cause longer, more intense fire seasons. That, paired with an increase in the number of houses near forestland, would mean more homes would be susceptible to fires, the group said. The safety of residents and firefighters would be the main concern in that situation, but there are also significant economic costs that come along with it, said Headwaters policy director Chris Mehl.

In the past, protecting homes from forest fires cost the state of Montana $28 million a year. The majority of those costs are paid for by the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency – that is, they come from federal taxes, according to Headwaters Economics. As housing development continues, Headwaters predicts the cost will increase to an estimated $40 million by 2025. Adding a 1-degree increase in average summer temperatures, which Mehl termed a fairly moderate figure, would increase that cost to $84 million by that year, the report states.


Thanks Dick

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