Alaska Wildfire Costs Projected to Grow this Century

The costs to fight fires in Alaska are expected to grow in the coming decades, according to new research.

The costs to fight fires in Alaska are expected to grow in the coming decades, according to new research.

Wildfires in Alaska and Canada cost millions of dollars to homeowners, businesses, and local and national governments. Those costs are expected to rise with a warming northern climate, according to new research that utilizes the ALFRESCO model. In an article that appears in the journal Climate Change, researchers leveraged federal fire fighting cost data with multiple greenhouse gas and fire scenarios.

“Total mean annual response costs reported here suggest that Alaska will face a continued and increasing financial burden from wildfires. A similar trend was reported recently for Canada, where a rise in projected area burned resulted in higher suppression costs under RCP8.5 relative to RCP2.6, a lower emission scenario than RCP4.5 (Hope et al. 2016). An increase in wildfire response costs have also been observed in Canada since the 1970s and are expected to continue to grow as a result of climate change and societal factors (Stocks and Martell 2016).”

You can read the full article here.

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