Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study shows wildfires' positive and negative economic impacts

Date:
September 14, 2012
Source:
University of Oregon
Summary:
Despite the disruptions they cause, large wildfires are a mixed economic bag for nearby communities, according to new research.

Despite the disruptions they cause, large wildfires are a mixed economic bag for nearby communities, according to findings from a research project by the University of Oregon's Ecosystem Workforce Program and its collaborators.

Wildfires disrupt the lives of workers, employers and families, and lead to longer-term instability in local labor markets, the project funded by Joint Fire Science Programfound. But on the flip side of the coin, countywide employment and wages increase in some sectors during the wildfires, often mitigating the short-term employment disruptions wildfires cause.

"The increased spending on services related to fire suppression efforts certainly does not undo the social and economic damage caused by a wildfire," said Cassandra Moseley, director of the Ecosystem Workforce Program and the Institute for a Sustainable Environment.

"But that initial burst of money does offset some of the immediate economic damage." Moseley said. "How the Forest Service spends its suppression money greatly influences how a community experiences a fire."

The UO study found that employment and wages in a county tend to increase during large wildfires. But those same fires often lead to longer-term instability in local labor markets, by amplifying seasonal "ups and downs" in employment over the subsequent year. Among the sectors most affected in the months following a fire are tourism and natural resources, which are often vital to the well-being of rural communities.

There has been little previous research on the effects of large wildfires on local employment and wages. The study, done in collaboration with researchers at the U.S. Forest Service, analyzed the impacts on labor markets as well as the extent of economic relief that results from spending on fire suppression. The purpose of the study was to help fire managers, policy makers and community leaders understand the short- and long-term effects of wildfires so they can better plan for the challenges and opportunities wildfires present.

The amount of fire suppression money spent by the U.S. Forest Service in the counties where large wildfires occurred ranged from zero to 25 percent, but averaged about 6 percent, according to the study. But rural and resource-dependent counties may take the biggest hit from wildfires because of their limited capture of fire suppression spending.

The UO research is based on an in-depth case study of the community economic impacts of a series of wildfires in Trinity County, California, in 2008, along with Bureau of Labor Statistics and Forest Service data that compared labor market trends in selected Western counties between 2004 and 2008. The research group will be releasing a number of reports later this year that detail the study's results.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Oregon. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Oregon. "Study shows wildfires' positive and negative economic impacts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120914191645.htm>.
University of Oregon. (2012, September 14). Study shows wildfires' positive and negative economic impacts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120914191645.htm
University of Oregon. "Study shows wildfires' positive and negative economic impacts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120914191645.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

AFP (Apr. 23, 2014) — The UN mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) led a mine clearance demonstration on Wednesday in the UN-controlled buffer zone where demining operations are being conducted near the Cypriot village of Mammari. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Drought Is Good News for Gold Prospectors

California Drought Is Good News for Gold Prospectors

AFP (Apr. 22, 2014) — For months California has suffered from a historic drought. The lack of water is worrying for farmers and ranchers, but for gold diggers it’s a stroke of good fortune. With water levels low, normally inaccessible areas are exposed. Duration: 01:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: MN Lakes Still Frozen Before Fishing Opener

Raw: MN Lakes Still Frozen Before Fishing Opener

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) — With only three weeks until Minnesota's fishing opener, many are wondering if the ice will be gone. Some of the Northland lakes are still covered by up to three feet of ice, causing concern that just like last year, the lakes won't be ready. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Warn Of Likely El Niño Event This Year

Scientists Warn Of Likely El Niño Event This Year

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — With Pacific ocean water already showing signs of warming, the NOAA says there's about a 66 percent chance the event will begin before November. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins