Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (242 KB)

Title: Fighting fire with fire: estimating the efficacy of wildfire mitigation programs using propensity scores

Author: Butry, David T.;

Date: 2009

Source: Environ Ecol Stat, Vol. 16:291-319

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: This paper examines the effect wildfire mitigation has on broad-scale wildfire behavior. Each year, hundreds of million of dollars are spent on fire suppression and fuels management applications, yet little is known, quantitatively, of the returns to these programs in terms of their impact on wildfire extent and intensity. This is especially true when considering that wildfire management influences and reacts to several, often times confounding factors, including socioeconomic characteristics, values at risk, heterogeneous landscapes, and climate. Due to the endogenous nature of suppression effort and fuels management intensity and placement with wildfire behavior, traditional regression models may prove inadequate. Instead, I examine the applicability of propensity score matching (PSM) techniques in modeling wildfire. This research makes several significant contributions including: (1) applying techniques developed in labor economics and in epidemiology to evaluate the effects of natural resource policies on landscapes, rather than on individuals; (2) providing a better understanding of the relationship between wildfire mitigation strategies and their influence on broad-scale wildfire patterns; (3) quantifying the returns to suppression and fuels management on wildfire behavior.

Keywords: Endogeneity, prescribed fire, propensity score, treatment effects, wildfire production functions

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Butry, David T. 2009. Fighting fire with fire: estimating the efficacy of wildfire mitigation programs using propensity scores. Environ Ecol Stat 16:291-319.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.