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