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Estimation of Forest Fire-fighting Budgets Using Climate Indexes

Zhen Xu and Gerrit van Kooten

No 2012-03, Working Papers from University of Victoria, Department of Economics, Resource Economics and Policy Analysis Research Group

Abstract: Given the complexity and relative short length of current predicting system for fire behavior, it is inappropriate to be referred for planning fire-fighting budgets of BC government due to the severe uncertainty of fire behavior across fire seasons. Therefore, a simple weather derived index for predicting fire frequency and burned area is developed in this paper to investigate the potential feasibility to predict fire behavior and fire-fighting expenses for the upcoming fire season using climate indexes. Linear regression models with spatial dummy variables are employed to estimate necessary coefficients that describe relationships across climate events, regional weather conditions, fire behavior and direct fire-fighting expenses in the interior of British Columbia; and Monte Carlo simulation are then used to predict future situations. We conclude that the BC government can use the last-year average solely, or together with January through April climate indexes for planning wildfire budgets for the upcoming fire season.

Keywords: Fire-fighting Expense; Monte Carlo Simulation; Climate Index (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q23 Q28 Q54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 50 pages
Date: 2012-07
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