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Project ID: 12-2-01-10

Year: 2013

Date Started: 12/01/2012

Ending Date:  05/31/2016

Title: Managing the Market: How Procurement Practices Impact Private Sector Wildfire Response Capacity

Project Proposal Abstract: Wildfire management requires significant institutional organization, a skilled workforce, facilities, and equipment. Sustaining this wildfire response capacity is critical to both agencies and fire-affected communities. Because fire suppression is seasonal and varies considerably from year to year, it is important that adequate capacity can be mobilized when resources are needed. Market conditions affect whether the land management agencies can fulfill their fire suppression procurement needs. As a result of their role as a major purchaser of fire suppression services, the Forest Service is a market manager. Its contracting processes, partnerships with state agencies, technical requirements, and dispatching protocols structure the market for these goods and services, which in turn influence the business models, competitiveness, and profitability of the firms that provide suppression-related goods and services. The purpose of this project is to explore a set of basic questions about the effects of administration of Forest Service fire suppression contracting on the contracting markets and business capacity. Specifically, we will ask, (1) how do Forest Service administrative practices influence the structure of the wildfire suppression contracting market and the ability of local vendors to compete in that market and (2) what business models do suppression contractors use to develop and maintain wildfire suppression capacity in ways that are competitive, sustainable, and responsive to government requirements and regulations? Using secondary data and interviews with fire suppression contractors and key Forest Service personnel, we will (1) develop predictive models to explain variation in the county-level market structure and local competitiveness for suppression spending; (2) describe a set of suppression business models; and (3) explore how agency contracting and dispatch practices are influencing business models and business competitiveness, and develop hypotheses for testing through future research. This research will contribute to scholarly literature about federal procurement broadly as well as procurement for response to natural hazard events such as wildfire. More specifically, this project will provide fire managers insight into the influence of Forest Service contracting practices on the structure and competitiveness of wildfire suppression contract market, and the impacts of procurement contracting on fire-affected communities.

Principal Investigator: Cassandra Moseley

Agency/Organization: University of Oregon

Branch or Dept: Institute for a Sustainable Environment

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Agreements Contact

Celia E. Walker

University of Oregon

Office of Research Services & Administration

Budget Contact

Kari L. Vandergust

University of Oregon

Office of Research Services & Administration

Co-Principal Investigator

Max W Nielsen Pincus

University of Oregon

Institute for a Sustainable Environment

Project Locations



Great Basin

Northern Rockies









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.")

There are no deliverables available for this project.

Supporting Documents

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