Information Valuation Concerning Decisions Made in Response to Wildland Fires in the Southwest United States

Project Dates

Research has established that the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) pattern in the equatorial Pacific has relatively predictable seasonal influences on the weather and climate of the US Southwest, making climate information valuable for environmental and economic decision-making. Fire management agencies are an ideal target audience for climate information. Significant work has gone into creating wildfire-specific climate outlooks and information products. Research has identified networks of actors successful at disseminating this information. This study addresses two questions: how is climate information being used to inform wildland fire management decisions and what is the economic value of such information? Focus groups and an online survey of Southwest wildfire experts address the first question and form the basis of an economic analysis of the value of fire management information. This research seeks to reveal what opportunities exist to improve existing products and develop new ones.