Fire managers and planners face greater challenges and expectations than ever before. Fire management has transitioned from a mandate of forest protection to ecosystem management with an interagency perspective. Consequently, the list of values at risk has broadened from individual resources (timber stands) to a diverse collection of ecosystem, market and social concerns (hazardous fuels reduction, protection of communities, sensitive resources, water quality, air quality and habitat). Historically, structured valuations systems have helped fire managers and planners with their analysis and assessment of values at risk. However, the current set of established valuation methods has resulted in significant limitations when applied to the broadened set of ecosystem management values. These limitations are amplified when dealing with interagency landscapes.
STARFire leverages a unique economic valuation system tailored to fire management and planning called MARS (Marginal Attribute Rate of Substitution). The system provides the ability to assess the value of fire effects (both positive and negative) across a range of resources through the use of relative values. This approach is unique in its ability to address inter-jurisdictional fire planning without compromising local or disparate values. As a result, STARFire can address state, private, county, tribal and federal jurisdictions in an integrated landscape.
The MARS valuation is combined with the burn potential information to form the core of the STARFire analysis. The STARFire core ensures that the values at risk are accounted for and incorporated into each analysis component generated by STARFire.
- Estimating rates of substitution for protecting values at risk for initial attack planning and budgeting (D.Rideout, P.Ziesler, R. Kling, J.Loomis,S.Botti, 2007)
- Comparing fire protection and improvement values at four major US National Parks and assessing the potential for generalized value categories (D. Rideout, J.Loomis, P.Ziesler and Y.Wei, 2012)