Provision of a wildfire risk map: informing residents in the wildland urban interface

Risk Anal. 2009 Nov;29(11):1588-600. doi: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2009.01289.x. Epub 2009 Sep 17.


Wildfires in the wildland urban interface (WUI) are an increasing concern throughout the western United States and elsewhere. WUI communities continue to grow and thus increase the wildfire risk to human lives and property. Information such as a wildfire risk map can inform WUI residents of potential risks and may help to efficiently sort mitigation efforts. This study uses the survey-based contingent valuation (CV) method to examine annual household willingness to pay (WTP) for the provision of a wildfire risk map. Data were collected through a mail survey of the East Mountain WUI area in the State of New Mexico (USA). The integrated empirical approach includes a system of equations that involves joint estimation of WTP values, along with measures of a respondent's risk perception and risk mitigation behavior. The median estimated WTP is around U.S. $12 for the annual wildfire risk map, which covers at least the costs of producing and distributing available risk information. Further, providing a wildfire risk map can help address policy goals emphasizing information gathering and sharing among stakeholders to mitigate the effects of wildfires.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cities
  • Conservation of Natural Resources / methods*
  • Disaster Planning / methods*
  • Ecosystem
  • Female
  • Fires / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New Mexico
  • Public Policy
  • Risk
  • Risk Management
  • United States