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Wildfire Prevention Efficacy: Marginal and Non-marginal Benefit-Cost Ratios



Jeffrey P. Prestemon, David Butry, Karen L. Abt, Rhonda Sutphen


Fire prevention education efforts involve a variety of methods intended to reduce the number of accidentally ignited wildfires, including public service announcements, distributing brochures and making presentations. A Poisson model of Florida fire ignitions by fire management region in Florida, 2002-2007, controlling for potential simultaneity biases, indicates that fire prevention efforts have statistically significant and negative effects on preventable fire types. Evaluating the expected reductions in wildfire damages given a change in fire prevention effort by region and statewide shows that marginal benefits exceed marginal costs by an average of 35-fold. These range from 10 to 99, depending on the region and on assumptions about how prevention spending is allocated across space.
Forest Science


debris, escape, campfire, damage, control function, education


Prestemon, J. , Butry, D. , Abt, K. and Sutphen, R. (2010), Wildfire Prevention Efficacy: Marginal and Non-marginal Benefit-Cost Ratios, Forest Science (Accessed July 13, 2024)


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Created January 31, 2010, Updated October 12, 2021