University of California

A cost-effectiveness analysis of simulated forest fire detection systems


P. H. Kourtz
W. G. O’Regan

Authors Affiliations

P. H. Kourtz was a graduate student in Forestry and Research Assistant in the School of Forestry and Conservation, Berkeley, and Research Officer, Forest Fire Research Institute, Canadian Department of Forestry and Rural Development; W. G. O’Regan was Mathematical Statistician, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, and Lecturer in Forestry and Conservation, Berkeley.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 39(12):341-366. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v39n12p341. August 1968.

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A solution to the problem of finding the most effective lookout-aircraft forest fire detection system for a specific budget is presented. Generated fire and weather data, based on past probability distributions, are used to produce a forest fire detection environment. Within this environment, many feasible all-lookout, all-aircraft, and combined lookout-aircraft detection systems are simulated. Each alternative is constrained by a fixed budget and each is evaluated in terms of a common criterion.

To illustrate the method, hypothetical data, similar to that available to forest protection agencies are used. Five budget levels are examined and the most effective alternatives and corresponding operating rules are identified.

Literature Cited

Barrows J. S. Forest fires in the Northern Rocky Mountains. Station Paper. 1951. 28:Northern Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Forest Service, U.S.D.A.

Harris H. K., Fahnestock G. R. Aerial observation versus lookout. Fire Control Notes, Forest Service, U.S.D.A. 1945. 15(2):

Hitch J. C., McKean R. N. The economics of defense in the nuclear age. 1960. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Parks G. M. Development and application of a model for suppression of forest fires. Management Science. 1964. 10(4): DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.10.4.760 [CrossRef]

Kourtz P, O’Regan W. 1968. A cost-effectiveness analysis of simulated forest fire detection systems. Hilgardia 39(12):341-366. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v39n12p341
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