Incorporating Ecosystem Health and Fire Resilience Within the Unified Economic Model of Fire Program Analysis

Ryan A. Fitch, Yeon-Su Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


We expand on a budget constrained, wildfire program optimization model to include a decision variable input for ecosystem health and fire resilience (H). With ecosystem health and fire resilience as a decision variable, two ecosystem states are delineated; the ecosystem can be within or outside its range of variability. The Southwest ponderosa pine ecosystem is used to illustrate the effects of fuels or restoration treatments on the decision variable input H within the probabilistic production function for wildfire losses. To estimate the health and fire resilience of the ecosystem, a short-term metric of ecosystem health (trees per acre for Southwest ponderosa pine) is used. Analysis of how the state of the ecosystem affects the optimization of the probabilistic production function for wildfire loss is carried out on the two ecosystem states. Results indicate that if the ecosystem is outside its range of variability, optimization of the objective function cannot be achieved. However, if the ecosystem is within its range of variability or if the ecosystem is transitioned within its range of variability through fuels or restoration treatments, the objective function can be optimized with respect to the decision input variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-104
Number of pages7
JournalEcological Economics
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018



  • Ecosystem health and fire resilience
  • Ecosystem states
  • Wildfire economics
  • Wildfire program optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics

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