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 (940 KB)

Title: Wildfire risk and optimal investments in watershed protection

Author: Warziniack, Travis; Thompson, Matthew;

Date: 2013

Source: Western Economics Forum. 12(2): 19-28.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Following what was then one of the most destructive fire years on record, President Bush signed into law the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003. The law requires no less than fifty percent of all funds allocated for hazardous fuels reductions to occur in the wildland-urban interface (WUI), with the aim of enhancing the protection of homes and reducing the costs of fighting wildfire. Available resources, however, have not been able to keep up with the accumulation of fuels and a rapidly expanding WUI. In 2012, wildfires burned 9 million acres in 67,000 separate fires throughout the United States. Total acreage burned was roughly equivalent in size to the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut combined and was the third largest annual acreage burned since 1975. That same year, Colorado saw its two most destructive fires on record, and Oregon saw its largest fire in more than a century. Costs for fighting these fires totaled about $1.6 billion, in line with a twenty year trend of increasing costs of wildfire suppression (National Interagency Fire Center 2013).

Keywords: wildfire, watershed, wildland-urban interface (WUI), wildfire suppression

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.



Warziniack, Travis; Thompson, Matthew. 2013. Wildfire risk and optimal investments in watershed protection. Western Economics Forum. 12(2): 19-28.


 [ 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.