Where do we put our dollars? Economic analysis of different bushfire management options in Western Australia
|Title||Where do we put our dollars? Economic analysis of different bushfire management options in Western Australia|
|Publication Type||Conference Paper|
|Year of Publication||2017|
|Authors||Florec, V, Pannell, DJ|
|Publisher||Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC|
Funds for bushfire-risk management are limited but the bushfire threat to society continues to increase. Fire managers face a challenging resource allocation problem and they would greatly benefit from knowing which strategies generate the highest benefit per dollar invested. There are many options available for bushfire-risk management, but it is hard to know what benefits they generate and if those benefits exceed the costs of implementation. The aim of this project is to evaluate different bushfire-risk management strategies in contrasting environments to explore which option(s) provide(s) the best value for money and highlight the trade-offs between the different options. This information can be used by fire managers and policy makers to optimise the allocation of the available resources for bushfire management in Western Australia and other States.
Specifically, the analysis evaluates a set of management options that were selected by experts in the field and compares them with the status quo in order to determine which pathways are more likely to generate additional benefits to society. We quantify the costs and benefits of applying the selected management options in two different case study locations in WA and discuss the implications for other localities in the State. We found that in areas with a very large number of high value human assets (i.e. Perth Hills), strategies that remove the assets at risk from the areas concerned have a potential to generate significant benefits, while fuel reduction treatments are most beneficial when large areas are treated in a coordinated manner. Priority strategies for fire management vary by region and it is therefore important not to apply fire management strategies uniformly across the State.