Wildfire Costs Rising

The Headwaters Economics report cites three factors: wood, weather, and WUI.

…Why the big cost increase? The Headwaters Economics report cites three factors: wood, weather, and WUI — the Wildland-Urban Interface. Wood is a result of forest management practices that allow fuel to accumulate. Weather is a hotter, drier climate. And the WUI zone is an increasingly attractive place to build homes, which means there’s more property to be protected from wildfires.

Such developments benefit from “perverse incentives” and a lack of accountability: “People who develop in forested areas, and local governments that allow such new subdivisions, do not pay their share of fire fighting costs. The majority of firefighting expenses instead are paid by the Forest Service, BLM, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.”

…If you live where wildfires are a possibility, it might be a good idea to make sure your county commissioners get a copy of this report — deterring development in the WUI is one way to save tax money.…

High Country News

Link to Article By Ed Quillen
Link to Study