Wildfire Suppression: Strategies for Containing Costs

September 2002 - Given the Congressional request, the Academy Panel focused on why wildfire suppression costs are increasing and what could be done to contain them. The Panel began its work by examining the cost-related decision-making on six large fires that burned in the summer of 2001.

The Panel concluded that some improvements are being made in the cost-effectiveness of the federal wildland fire programs, but also stated it is time for a more strategic approach.

Key Recommendations

  1. Hasten the job of reducing fuel loads and sharing costs.
  2. Mitigate fire hazards at the interface between people and wildlands.
  3. Make managing large fire incidents more efficient and accountable.
  4. Speed the contributions of science, technology, and information management to cost-effective wildland fire management.