Prescribed burning is increasingly being recognized as a useful land management and conservation tool, but with it comes the risk of fire and smoke damage to the property of others. All but two states have codified laws specifying criminal penalties or liability rules for prescribed burning, but the laws in a number of states have changed in recent years or are under review. We develop an economic model of the incentive and welfare effects of prescribed burning and the use of prior regulation and post liability as instruments to address potential external damage from the use of prescribed fire.


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