Wildfires

Featured

  • A house burning along Cherry Glen Road during the LNU Lightning Complex Fire on the outskirts of Vacaville, California, August 19, 2020, photo by Stephen Lam/Reuters

    Research Brief

    How Wildfire Risks Affect California's Insurance Market

    Sep 14, 2020

    Wildfires in California destroy thousands of structures each year, devastating homeowners and bringing heavy costs for insurers. And without an aggressive GHG emissions control strategy, climate change will likely increase the risk of wildfires in some areas. How will insurance markets respond?

  • An elderly couple leaves an evacuation center as a wildfire forces the center itself to be evacuated, Poway, California, October 21, 2007, photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

    Commentary

    Turning Off Power to Combat Wildfires Could Harm the Very People Who Need Protection

    Oct 28, 2019

    Intentionally shutting off power may be a practical way to prevent power lines from sparking wildfires. But is it worth the risks? Until more thoughtful and comprehensive decisions are made, planned power outages need to be planned better.

Explore Wildfires

  • 415 Superscooper aircraft

    Commentary

    Fighting Fires From Above

    A newly deployed airborne firefighting resource is helping the United States Forest Service (USFS) battle wildfires, while at the same time providing valuable lessons on the utility and cost effectiveness of water-dropping scooper aircraft.

    May 15, 2014

  • A Hellenic Air Force Canadair CL-415 drops water over a forest fire northeast of Athens in August 2009

    Commentary

    Investing in Firefighting

    While the U.S. Forest Service has not completely agreed with RAND's proposal to transition to a fleet dominated by water-dropping scooper aircraft for fighting fires, they have leased one CL-415 scooper aircraft. It might be more cost-effective for the USFS to simply purchase it outright.

    Dec 30, 2013

  • California Air National guardsmen perform precision water bucket drops near Yosemite

    Commentary

    The Desirability of 'Free' C-27s for the U.S. Forest Service

    Although we believe that a scooper-centric firefighting aircraft portfolio for initial attack would still be preferred, Air Force-provided 1,850-gallon C-27Js could be a cost-effective component of the retardant-bearing portion of the Forest Service's airborne firefighting arsenal, write Edward G. Keating and Daniel M. Norton.

    Sep 6, 2013

  • Wildfire air tanker

    Commentary

    Firefighting Aircraft: Is Bigger Better?

    An aircraft's capacity and speed largely determine the rate at which water or retardant can be applied to a fire. Very large air tankers (VLATs) certainly have the capacity to apply large amounts of fluids to a fire, but because of the distances travelled they may not be able to get a second load very quickly.

    May 20, 2013

  • houses destroyed by Hurricane Sandy

    Commentary

    Planning for Superstorms, Wildfires, and Deep Uncertainty

    The path to climate change preparedness should start at the intersection of resilience and robustness — that is, building resilient communities with the individuals and organizations within those communities making robust decisions, ones designed to work well over a wide range of ever-changing conditions.

    Apr 18, 2013

  • News Release

    News Release

    U.S. Forest Service Should Consider a Different Mix of Aircraft to Fight Wildfires

    The U.S. Forest Service should upgrade its large airborne firefighting fleet to include more amphibious scooper aircraft, with air tankers and helicopters in a supporting role during the initial attack of fires before they become large.

    Jul 30, 2012

  • amphibious aircraft

    Report

    U.S. Forest Service Should Consider a Different Mix of Aircraft to Fight Wildfires

    The U.S. Forest Service should upgrade its large airborne firefighting fleet to include more amphibious scooper aircraft, with air tankers and helicopters in a supporting role during the initial attack of fires before they become large.

    Jul 30, 2012

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    Identifying a Cost-Effective Aviation Fleet for the U.S. Forest Service

    This brief provides an overview of a RAND study to support the U.S. Forest Service in determining the composition of a fleet of airtankers, scoopers, and helicopters that would minimize the total social costs of wildfires.

    Jul 30, 2012

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Mental Health Risks for Residents Displaced by Wildfires

    Residents who have been displaced by the wildfires may experience serious mental health problems. Up to one-third of the residents displaced by the San Diego area fires in 2003 showed symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder and major depression three months later.

    Jan 1, 2007

  • A spreading wildfire in the Anaheim hills, California

    Report

    Natural Disaster Research Could Help Reduce Economic Losses

    The nation may be able to reduce losses from disasters such as wildfires and floods if more research focused on how to protect people, buildings and infrastructure.

    Jan 1, 2003

  • Report

    Report

    Forest Fires, Air Pollution, and Mortality in Southeast Asia

    Forest Fires, Air Pollution, and Mortality in Southeast Asia

    Jan 1, 2002

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    The Dangers of Smoke Haze: Mortality in Malaysia from Indonesian Forest Fires

    Narayan Sastry assembled data from Malaysia to study the mortality effects of smoke haze in that country from the Indonesian forest fires that burned between April and November of 1997.

    Jan 1, 2002

  • Report

    Report

    Forest Monitoring and Remote Sensing: A Survey of Accomplishments and Opportunities for the Future

    Forest Monitoring and Remote Sensing: A Survey of Accomplishments and Opportunities for the Future

    Jan 1, 1999

  • Report

    Report

    Physical Models of Fires and Their Associated Environment

    Derives a general, flexible, mathematical model describing the progress of a fire, and presents graphical output of a computer simulation employing the model.

    Jan 1, 1973

  • Content

    Content

    Jay Balagna

    Assistant Policy Researcher, RAND; Ph.D. Student, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education M.P.H. in prevention science and practice, Emory University; B.A. in Spanish, University of Nevada, Reno