Next Article in Journal
Post-Fire Carbon Dynamics in Subalpine Forests of the Rocky Mountains
Previous Article in Journal
Accessing the Life in Smoke: A New Application of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to Sample Wildland Fire Bioaerosol Emissions and Their Environment
Open AccessArticle

The Role of Previous Fires in the Management and Expenditures of Subsequent Large Wildfires

1
Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
2
Rocky Mountain Research Station, US Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Missoula, MT 59801, USA
3
Rocky Mountain Research Station, US Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Fort Collins, CO 80526, USA
4
Rocky Mountain Research Station, US Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Washington, DC 20024, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 October 2019 / Revised: 20 November 2019 / Accepted: 27 November 2019 / Published: 29 November 2019
Previously burned areas can influence the occurrence, extent, and severity of subsequent wildfires, which may influence expenditures on large fires. We develop a conceptual model of how interactions of fires with previously burned areas may influence fire management, fire behavior, expenditures, and test hypotheses using regression models of wildfire size and suppression expenditures. Using a sample of 722 large fires from the western United States, we observe whether a fire interacted with a previous fire, the percent area of fires burned by previous fires, and the percent perimeter overlap with previous fires. Fires that interact with previous fires are likely to be larger and have lower total expenditures on average. Conditional on a fire encountering a previous fire, a greater extent of interaction with previous fires is associated with reduced fire size but higher expenditures, although the expenditure effect is small and imprecisely estimated. Subsequent analysis suggests that fires that interact with previous fires may be systematically different from other fires along several dimensions. We do not find evidence that interactions with previous fires reduce suppression expenditures for subsequent fires. Results suggest that previous fires may allow suppression opportunities that otherwise might not exist, possibly reducing fire size but increasing total expenditures. View Full-Text
Keywords: Suppression expenditures; wildland fire; fire interactions; suppression effort Suppression expenditures; wildland fire; fire interactions; suppression effort
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Belval, E.J.; O’Connor, C.D.; Thompson, M.P.; Hand, M.S. The Role of Previous Fires in the Management and Expenditures of Subsequent Large Wildfires. Fire 2019, 2, 57.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop