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Journal Articles Journal of Forest Economics Year : 2023

On the Marginal Cost of the Duration of a Wildfire


Avoiding catastrophic wildfires is a natural rationale for fighting fires in their early stage. Beside this benefit, may a marginal decrease in the duration of smaller wildfires be worthwhile? The present article addresses this topic by estimating the marginal damage of the duration of forest fires. We perform two sets of wildfire simulations in Corsica, and estimate the damage based on the type of land use in burned areas. Results suggest that the marginal cost of the duration of fires rises by a factor of 4 during the first 400 minutes. The two reasons appear to be 1- the increase in the marginal burnt area (a physical mechanism) and 2- the increase in the value of the marginal burnt area, due to the ignition points being located in low-value places (a human mechanism). Using a conservative calibration, our results corroborate the principle of early initial attack already in use in countries with sufficient fire fighting forces, but subject to debate because of its cost.
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hal-04256909 , version 1 (25-10-2023)




Antoine Belgodere, Frédéric Allaire, Jean-Baptiste Filippi, Vivien Mallet, Florian Guéniot. On the Marginal Cost of the Duration of a Wildfire. Journal of Forest Economics, 2023, 38 (3), pp.265-292. ⟨10.1561/112.00000565⟩. ⟨hal-04256909⟩
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