Wildland Fire Use and Cost Containment: A Colorado Case Study

Dale, Lisa Allyn; Aplet, Gregory; Wilmer, Bo

In the last decade, policymakers and forestry experts have decried the “crisis” in forest health, placing much of the blame on a century of fire suppression that has starved fire-dependent ecosystems of regular fire cycles, created unhealthy fuel loads, and led to conditions ripe for uncharacteristically large wildfires. During that same time period, the practice of fire suppression on public lands has grown to become a multimillion dollar endeavor annually. Land management agencies are under political pressure both to reduce fire costs and to mitigate fire risk. One new tool, the development of Fire Management Plans (FMP), is considered so central to both of these objectives that it is now required by law for each administrative unit. A growing recognition that fire has substantial benefits for the land is leading many to incorporate Wildland Fire Use (WFU), the preplanned use of wildland fire for resource benefit, into their emerging FMP analyses.

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Also Published In

Journal of Forestry

More About This Work

Academic Units
Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology
Published Here
July 21, 2022