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Abstract

Scientists and policymakers are increasingly aware that wildfire management efforts should be broadened beyond the century-long emphasis on suppression to include more effective efforts at fuel management. Because wildfire risks change over time as vegetation matures, fuel management can be viewed as a timing problem, much like timber harvest itself. We develop a nested rotation model to examine the fuel treatment timing issue in the context of a forest environment with both timber value and non-timber values-at-risk. Simulations are performed for a ponderosa pine forest and discussed with a focus on three important aspects of wildfire management: 1) the economic tradeoffs between fuel treatments, suppression, and timber harvest 2) the effects of public wildfire suppression on private fuel management incentives, 3) externality problems when non-timber values-at-risk such as wildland-urban interface property is not accounted for in private fuel management decisions.

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