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 October 22, 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 October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trick-or-Treating Banned Because of Polar Bears

Trick-or-Treating Banned Because of Polar Bears

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) — Mother Nature is pulling a trick on the kids of Arviat, Canada. As Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) tells us, the effects of global warming caused the town to ban trick-or-treating this Halloween. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — The United Nations says water is a human right, but should it be free? Detroit has cut off water to residents who can't pay, and the U.N. isn't happy. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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