Public agencies entrusted with fire management in the western U.S. are faced with a decision each time a fire starts: should it be suppressed, or should it be left to burn? In some cases, fires that have not been rapidly staffed and suppressed have later proved very expensive and dangerous to suppress; and in other cases, fires that would never have caused large impacts are suppressed, missing an opportunity to reduce fuel loading and to cycle nutrients. In this chapter, the command structure through which these decisions are made is reviewed in basic terms, and a description is provided of how a fire goes from initial detection to being staffed by firefighters involved in fire suppression. Initial attack resources are discussed with an emphasis on the aerially delivered firefighters who often are responsible for suppressing remote fires. Finally, opportunities to improve the process of making fire suppression decisions are explored, and potential decision-support systems integrating firefighter knowledge with emerging technologies are discussed.
Machin, B. and Hentze, M. (2007), "Chapter 12 Comments on the Present and Future of Wildland Fire Suppression Decision-Making Processes", Troy, A. and Kennedy, R. (Ed.) Living on the Edge (Advances in the Economics of Environmental Resources, Vol. 6), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 211-223. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1569-3740(06)06012-3Download as .RIS
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