Title: Factors affecting fire suppression costs as identified by incident management teams
Author: Canton-Thompson, Janie; Thompson, Brooke; Gebert, Krista; Calkin, David; Donovan, Geoff; Jones, Greg;
Source: Res. Note RMRS-RN-30. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 10 p.
Publication Series: Research Note (RN)
Description: This study uses qualitative sociological methodology to discover information and insights about the role of Incident Management Teams in wildland fire suppression costs. We interviewed 48 command and general staff members of Incident Management Teams throughout the United States. Interviewees were asked about team structure, functioning, and decision making as a framework for determining their views on issues that drive costs. Topics affecting costs that emerged prominently are discussed in this report. They include, in no particular order: lack of decision space; outside costs over which Incident Management Teams have no control; rigid policies and rules limiting the ability to manage effectively, including cost-effectively mitigating for safety dangers on the ground; external decisions affecting costs; use of sophisticated technology; expanding public demand for information related to sophisticated technology; increased use of contracting for equipment and services; other demands on the agency; increased aircraft use; agency reorganizations affecting workforce availability; and new rules and regulations limiting flexibility needed for geographic differences. These findings should be useful in addressing wildfire suppression cost issues in the future.
Keywords: wildfire suppression costs, Incident Management Teams, qualitative sociological research
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Canton-Thompson, Janie; Thompson, Brooke; Gebert, Krista; Calkin, David; Donovan, Geoff; Jones, Greg 2006. Factors affecting fire suppression costs as identified by incident management teams. Res. Note RMRS-RN-30. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 10 p.
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