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Project ID: 09-1-10-3

Year: 2009

Date Started: 10/01/2009

Date Completed: 12/31/2012

Title: Economic Effects of Large Wildfires from 2008

Project Proposal Abstract: Large wildland fires can disrupt communities located near the fires and have lasting socioeconomic consequences. This project will help land managers and policy makers better understand, anticipate, and plan for the local economic effects of wildfires. Our goal is to provide information to decision-makers that will assist them in making management and policy decisions that support local economies by minimizing the negative economic effects of wildfire. We posit that wildland fires may affect local economies through two pathways: direct negative effects from reduced economic activity (e.g., resource management, tourism, and supporting industries) and direct positive effects from economic activity generated through fire suppression contracting. Wildfires may also result in future local economic benefits from recovery and economic development efforts such as biomass utilization from fire hazard reduction projects. However, local economies only experience direct positive effects if fire suppression contracting is awarded locally and future benefits are only possible if the fire stimulates, rather than stops, economic development efforts associated with recovery or prevention of future fires. We will ask three main questions: 1) What are the effects of large wildland fires on local economies?, 2) How does fire suppression contracting mediate those effects?, and 3) How do large wildland fires affect local economic development efforts, especially those associated with biomass utilization associated with fire hazard reduction? This proposal is being developed in response to the 2009 RFA Task Statement J, which focuses on re-measurement of conditions before and after large fires that occurred in 2008. We will answer these interconnected research questions using both quantitative and qualitative data that considers economic and social conditions before and after wildfires in a subset of continental US counties in which large wildfires burned in 2008. We will used a mixed methods approach relying on econometric panel analysis of the impacts of large fires on county level labor markets and a case study analysis of Trinity County, California. The case study analysis will reassess the bridges and barriers to biomass utilization efforts following large fires in the County in the summer of 2008. A related JFSP study assessed the bridges and barriers to biomass utilization in Trinity County prior to the fires in the Spring of 2008. We will use our findings to help educate policy makers, land mangers, community organizations, and wildfire scholars through a strategic outreach effort focused on the local economic effects of existing national fire policy and management. Outreach will occur through strategic dissemination that includes full technical reports for managers, policy makers, and other stakeholders; briefing papers and presentations targeted to key stakeholders; a website describing the project rationale, data sources, and key findings; and peer reviewed articles and presentations for scholarly audiences.

Principal Investigator: Cassandra Moseley

Agency/Organization: University of Oregon

Branch or Dept: Institute for a Sustainable Environment

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Krista M. Gebert

Forest Service

RMRS-Intermountain Fire Sciences Lab

Co-Principal Investigator

Laura Leete

University of Oregon

Department of Planning, Public Policy & Management

Co-Principal Investigator

Kathy Lynn

University of Oregon

Resource Innovations

Co-Principal Investigator

Max W Nielsen Pincus

University of Oregon

Institute for a Sustainable Environment

Federal Cooperator

Pamela J. Jakes

Forest Service

NRS-Northern Research Station

Federal Fiscal Representative

David G Garrison

Forest Service

NRS-Northern Research Station

Project Locations










Shasta-Trinity National Forest

Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
view or print go to website 1713 Government Publication Forest Service Spending on Large Wildfires in the West
  go to website 4507 Website Provides results of our study.
view or print   6895 Conference/Symposia/Workshop The Economic Impacts of Large Wildfires
view or print   6896 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Community Business Capacity to Participate in Wildland Fire Operations
view or print   6337 Conference/Symposia/Workshop The Effect of Large Wildfires on Local Labor Markets
view or print   6731 Conference/Symposia/Workshop The Effect of Large Wildfires on Local Labor Markets
view or print   6732 Conference/Symposia/Workshop The Economic Impacts of Large Wildfires: A Mixed Methods Perspective from Trinity County, California
view or print   5473 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Local Economic Effects of Large Wildfires
  go to website 5475 Field Demonstration/Tour Economic Effects of Large Fires: Application to the Cold Springs Fire
view or print   5479 Photo Cascade Peak
view or print   5480 Photo Pole Creek
view or print   5481 Photo Incident Base
view or print   5482 Photo Wildfire Smoke Over Community
view or print   5483 Photo Three Sisters After Pole Creek Fire
    5638 Invited Paper/Presentation Local Economic Effects of Large Wildfires
view or print   5639 Invited Paper/Presentation Economic Impacts of Large Fires in Local Communities
    7139 Invited Paper/Presentation Wildfire Social Science and Economics

Supporting Documents

There are no supporting documents available for this project.

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