Wildland arson: a research assessment

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  • Authors: Prestemon, Jeffrey P.; Butry, David T.
  • Publication Year: 2010
  • Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
  • Source: In: Pye, John M.; Rauscher, H. Michael; Sands, Yasmeen; Lee, Danny C.; Beatty, Jerome S., tech. eds. Advances in threat assessment and their application to forest and rangeland management. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-802. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest and Southern Research Stations: 271-283

Abstract

Wildland arson makes up the majority of fire starts in some parts of the United States and is the second leading cause of fires on Eastern United States Federal forests. Individual arson fires can cause damages to resources and communities totaling over a hundred million dollars. Recent research has uncovered the temporal and spatial patterns of arson fires and their long- and short-term drivers. In statistical analyses, explanatory variables include those associated with general economic conditions and law enforcement. Research findings indicate that wildland arson ignitions are consistent with other kinds of crimes, in terms of their relationships to hypothesized factors. Arson is predictable in short and long timespans, as its rate is heavily influenced by weather, climate, fuels, and recent information on other nearby and recent arson fires. These results could be used to enhance the effectiveness of law enforcement and wildfire management resources.

  • Citation: Prestemon, Jeffrey P.; Butry, David T. 2010. Wildland arson: a research assessment. In: Pye, John M.; Rauscher, H. Michael; Sands, Yasmeen; Lee, Danny C.; Beatty, Jerome S., tech. eds. Advances in threat assessment and their application to forest and rangeland management. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-802. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest and Southern Research Stations: 271-283.
  • Keywords: Arson, autocorrelation, green crime, spatio-temporal, wildfire prevention
  • Posted Date: December 6, 2010
  • Modified Date: October 11, 2016
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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
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