The economic impact of fire management on timber production in the boreal forest region of Quebec, Canada.
Baburam Rijal, Frédérick Raulier, David L. Martell, Sylvie Gauthier.
Wildfire is an important component of the dynamics of boreal-forest ecosystems, but it can also contribute to the loss of forest resources, especially when fires escape initial attack and become large. Annual fire management costs in the province of Quebec are substantial (annual average of C$69 million for 1994–2014). The main objective of this study was to evaluate the financial impact of fire management on forest resources in Quebec. Our study includes cost–benefit analyses of nine fire management presuppression expenditure scenarios using forest and fire data for three commercially managed forest management units in the province of Quebec that experience varying mean annual burn rates (0.06–0.56%?year?1). The reduction in the burn rate attributed to fire management increased the revenue from the sale of primary-processed wood product and reduced fire suppression expenditure. The combined effects of reduced suppression expenditure and increased revenue from value-added timber harvest and wood processing with a lower fire risk compensated for increased fire presuppression expenditure.