Assessing the Absorption and Economic Impact of Suppression and Repair Spending of the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire, Oregon

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Journal of Forestry

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The frequency of large wildfires in the US has increased over the past few decades, and more communities will need to prepare for the inevitability of wildfire in the future. In this article, we examine the local and regional economic impact of fire suppression and postfire repair spending for the 2017 Oregon Eagle Creek fire. The Eagle Creek fire is unique in that it occurred close to a large metropolitan area, Portland, and along an important transportation corridor, Interstate 84. We found that the proportion of repair spending absorbed by local and regional counties was 85%, whereas 26% of suppression spending was absorbed by local and regional counties. We quantified the wider economic impact of this spending using the input-output model, IMPLAN. Suppression spending created a total economic output of $4 million (initial input $2.4 million) while repair spending created an economic output of $14 million per year over two years (initial input $14.5 million). Study Implications: Our study illustrates local and regional economic impacts to communities from wildfire-related spending as a result of the Eagle Creek fire in Oregon in 2017; counties were positively affected by fire suppression and postfire repair spending as some of this spending circulated through local and regional economies. Repair spending had a much higher local and regional absorption than suppression spending, but we found the multiplier effect to be about the same for both. We also found both repair spending and suppression spending to be highly specialized for the case of the Eagle Creek fire with relative few firms receiving contract funding.


© OUP 2022.



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