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date: 22 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

As long as people and fire have coexisted on this planet, fire has been both purposefully used as an agent and subsequently experienced as a consequence of land use change. This article begins with a history how people have used fire as an agent of land use change over many millennia, how attitudes toward fires have evolved over time, how fire policy has developed in the United States over the last century, and what challenges for fire policy are emerging now. Three core themes appear in the literature on the economics of wildfire: spatial externalities, incentives, and risk-based decision analysis. These themes are discussed in the context of how wildfire economics may best contribute to the design of efficient and effective fire policy for the future.

Keywords: wildfire economics, forest economics, wildland urban interface, spatial externalities and wildfire, risk-based decision analysis

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